Dear, Art Spiegelman
I’ve recently started reading your book Maus I: My Father Bleeds History. I started reading your book because it is one of the assigned readings for my Freshman English 12 class. The class isn’t like a traditional college English class, in the sense that it is more focused in the visual way in which we retain, analyze and comprehend works of literature or any other information. So far I have read up to the fourth chapter of Maus, something that I’m curious about is how strained yours and your fathers relationship seems to be so far in the book, why is that? Why did you choose to make the characters of the story animals? I personally think the story wouldn’t be as impacting as it is, if the character were human. On the first chapter when you asked your father to tell you his story of his life in Poland and the war on the fifth panel where you show him on the stationary bike, is the number on his arm the actual number that was tattooed on his arm in the war?
My favorite part so far in the reading is at the end of chapter three when you are about to leave your father’s house and you ask for your coat and your dad nonchalantly says “I threw it out” and then goes on to give you one that’s better in his opinion, I think it’s funny how parents do things like that. Again I think it’s quite interesting how you chose to make the characters animals instead of people, it catches peoples eye makes them want to know what it’s about and not just pass it as another holocaust book. This novel impacted me a lot emotionally because I was born into a religious family and I cannot fathom how horribly tragic it would be for people who believe in the same belief as me or are of the same race as me would get persecuted, tortured, and killed for who they are. I thank you Mr. Spiegelman for sharing such a moving story.