Maus and Memory

The two readings this week were really interesting to me.  The Maus one in particular made me view the subject in a completely different way.  In order to fully appreciate the two works of art, one has to have certain background knowledge on the subjects and know how to “read” images.  The phrase “A picture is worth a thousand words” comes to mind with this specific topic.  In Maus, the drawings speak for themselves most times: the expressions on the characters really heightens the overall concept.  To fully understand the AIDS quilt, you also need an appreciation of the images displayed and the multiple memories they evoke.

This being said, it is also important to point out the many differences they have with the real-life events they portray.  I may be mistaken, but I am 98% sure the Nazis were not cats.  Going along with that, the Jews were probably not mice.  But everyone who understands the stereotypical cat and mouse relationship and therefore understand the Nazi/Jew relationship based on the extended analogy the artist provides.  Likewise, the quilt does not display real images of people with AIDS, but the images and colors used symbolize the artist’s thoughts.


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