Sadness vs. Happiness


The first tracing of Maus that I did resembles a moment that is truly devastating for both Vladeck and Art. The tone, emotion, and illustrations of my first trace all resemble the feeling of sadness and helplessness.  Anja had just killed herself and Art feels like he will forever be stuck in prison because of his mom’s suicide. You can truly feel the instant regret that Artie had when he found out that his mom killed herself. It makes you feel that his life is over (as he portrays with the prison) and that he will never feel ok again in his life. This is a theme that carries on with the rest of book 1 when little by little the conditions that Vladeck is currently in, starts to become worse and worse. This feeling of hopelessness can be felt even in book 2 when Vladeck starts having more cases of life and death situations. But the contrast between my first trace and the second trace is that the second trace ends the trend of hopelessness and ends the book with a “they live happily ever after”. The second trace ends the story of how Vladeck was able to survive the war and be able to find out that his wife was still alive. I simply cannot imagine what that couple went through and how they felt when they finally saw each other after so many years of suffering apart. I truly believe that the author tried to give justice to his parent’s life by ending the story of their struggles with a very happy and emotional ending.

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