When I first started reading The Complete Maus, I found the pictures to be very distracting; it took me forever just to finish the first chapter. The further I read however, the more I liked it. It was still a slower read than usual for me but I couldn’t just read the words and forget the pictures, there is so much more of the story written into the drawings. For example, on page 201, when Art is sitting at his drawing board surrounded by flies and corpses of mice,if this hadn’t been a graphic novel he would have gone into a long descriptive passage about the setting he was supposed to be in. How confusing that would have been! The drawings convey so much more than just words can. Without the drawings, especially in this particular part of the story, the book would be pretty confusing. Another thing I think the drawings add is an appeal to pathos, even though Art Spiegelman portrays the Jews as almost emotionless. As we discussed during class, the blank faces of the Jews is likely to make it easier for us to project emotions onto them. I think this ability to project onto the characters appeals to us because it allows us to write ourselves into the story; when we do that is causes us to empathize more with the characters. I found that while reading, I was picturing the characters with human faces and the emotions of the situation those characters were in. While an appeal to pathos can be done with words only, this aspect of it cannot. You can’t project emotions on to a character that is merely being described in words because; through the description of the character often their emotion is described as well.


2 thoughts on “Projection

  1. I agree on what you said about Art Spiegelman portraying no emotions for the “mouse” charatcters which makes it easier for us the readers to connect and fall into the story. The Holocaust has a lot of hidden details that can not always be described in words, so i feel that the fact this novel is graphic is very helpful and shows much more detail than he could have shown with words. The saying “pictures are worth a thousand words”, is quite true because using the display with a graphic novel he is able to give a even bigger visual aspect. The pictures also make the topic of the Holocaust an more fluent read comared to a bunch of excessive detail.

  2. Though you had the ability to learn to like the comic book style of “Maus”, I did not learn to like this style. Throughout the story the pictures hindered my ability to get excited about the novel. I love to read because it allows me to use my imagination. With imagination I am transported at the side of the main character or I can even become the main character. Since “Maus” had all of the pictures already there it took away my ability to imagine. I had a hard time connecting with images that someone else created who were living in a 2-D world. The pictures did make the book a quicker read, since I did not have to do as much thinking. With my lack of involvement in the story some of the reality and sincerity of the story was lost.

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