The combination of words and pictures is much more

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The combination of words and pictures is much more powerful than either of the two on their own. Regardless though, Spiegelman’s imagery plays a major role. The most important aspect to his illustrations is his use of masking to differentiate nationalities in the story. He chooses mice for the Jewish, cats for the Nazi soldiers, and pigs for the Polish. This way of portraying the characters works as a dehumanizer, a characteristic of the Nazi’s reaction to the Jews. Representing the characters as animals also creates a certain tension from the conflicting humor that Spiegelman hints at and the seriousness of the content. Then again, on page 147 of Maus , we are reminded of the true human identity of the characters when the two “mice” Vladek and Anja are frightened by the actual rats in a basement they are hiding in, Anja: Th-there are rats down here! Vladek: Shh-calm down, stop screaming. Those aren’t rats. They’re very small. One ran over my hand before. They’re just mice!...Of course, it was really rats. But I wanted Anja to feel more easy (Spiegelman, 147). The undeniable irony of this scene is so blunt that it is humorous. The Jewish couple is squirming over a rat, a very similar animal that Spiegelman suggests the Nazi’s consider the Jews as. This brief yet extremely symbolic moment in the text, emphasizes the ridiculous nature of discriminating people in terms of their ethnicity.
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Meanwhile, the way Spiegelman uses his text is of major significance as well. The main aspect to his writing in Maus is his back and forth approach to the story being told and the story telling itself. This way of writing allows for easier transitions and an additional depth to the storyline. In addition, the inclusion of the story telling acts as a narration, which further clarifies
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