perspectives he also undermines the animal allegory by using Hitlers pejorative

Perspectives he also undermines the animal allegory

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perspectives, he also undermines the animal allegory by “using Hitler’s pejorative attitudes against themselves.” (Spiegelman, MetaMaus 125) Through the sabotage of stereotypes, a platform is created, enabling the truth to be revealed about the Jewish people and the horrors of the Holocaust. In order to avoid Hitler and his genocidal threats, Jews were forced to find alternate means of escape or concealment. Often, they would disguise themselves as a people groups that were not oppressed - such as the Polish – by obscuring defining features like darker hair, eyes or skin, larger and longer noses, or even the Star of David badge that the Jews were required to wear. Vladek and Anja dress up several times while travelling or searching for a place to stay, donning pig masks to look more like Poles and blend in more fluidly with their environment. After the couple is freed from the concentration camp, they flee back to Sosnowiec, desperately searching for shelter. Although they are wearing Polish disguises, Anja’s distinctive mouse tail is shown trailing behind her, portraying the idea that Semitic features - especially Anja’s – were difficult to conceal, (Spiegelman, Maus 136) and that animal differences, synonymous with human racial qualities, cannot be limited to a single characteristic. Personal attributes, with the exception of clothing, are something that Spiegelman purposely downplays, illustrating each mouse as an equal. Despite the fact that the mice were meant to look the least ‘human’ of the animals, emotion is portrayed quite vividly through mice’s gaping mouths. The maws are not shown often, but when visible, they are the main the focus of the panel and are “almost always [portraying] cries or screams.” (Spiegelman, MetaMaus 145) Screaming - the pain of their experiences
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MOORE 5 evidently displayed on their faces – “allow[s] for a kind of vulnerability,” (145) and enables human characteristics and feelings to be transposed upon the mice. The rodents are not to be taken just at face value, but instead perceived as humans, as Jews. Emotion is again channeled at a human level in the short comic strip about Anja’s suicide: “Prisoner on the Hell Planet.” Here, Spiegelman illustrates his personal story, presented the trauma he has endured as a direct result of his mother and father’s experiences. “This comic within a comic with humans once again allows the central conceit to dissolve while also contrasting the emotionally-charged expressionist rendering of my own trauma with the more notational style of the larger book.” (149) In the illustration, Artie has donned a striped uniform, symbolizing his imprisonment with the remorse he feels for his mother’s death, due to his inattentiveness and lack of love towards her. Artie and that he
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