DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: MAUS


1.  Is the graphic novel form appropriate to the telling of Holocaust narrative? Why or why not?

2.  Why do you think Spiegelman chose to represent the different nationalities by animal types and how did you respond to his choices here?

3.  To what extent is Vladek defined by his status as a Holocaust survivor?

4. To what extent, in turn, is Art shaped by the Holocaust and its memory?

5. How would you describe the relationship between father and son?  Between Art and his dead mother? Between Art and his dead brother? Between Vladek and his two wives?

6.  How would you compare Maus with Spiegelman’s earlier "Prisoner on the Hell Planet" comic?

7.  To what degree were there meaningful differences in tone and style between the first and second halves of Maus?

8.  What role does guilt play in this account?

9.  How and why were Vladek and Anja able to survive the Holocaust?

10.  What are the "lessons" of the Holocaust? What would Vladek say here? Art? You?

11.  How would you compare and contrast Spiegelman’s book with O’Brien’s? What stands out as some important points of comparison and contrast here in terms of approach and issues?


Possible Starting Places

  • "Art Spiegelman And The Making Of Maus," Multimedia Gallery, P.O.V., December 10, 2008.

  • "Art Spiegelman Discusses Maus And MetaMaus," BBC News, December 9, 2011.

  • Rachel Cooke, "Art Spiegelman: 'Auschwitz Became For Us A Safe Place,'" Observer, October 23, 2011.


  • Audio And Video Resources

  • "Art Spiegelman Reflects On 60 Years Of Pen And Ink," Weekend Edition Saturday, NPR, September 14, 2013.

  • "'Maus' Cartoonist Art Spiegelman On Finding Art In Disorder," Current, CBC, February 15, 2013.

  • "'MetaMaus': The Story Behind Spiegelman's Classic," Talk Of The Nation, NPR, October 5, 2011.

  • "'Maus' Creator Spiegelman Tries Sept. 11 Comic," NPR Weekend Edition Saturday, June 7, 2003.

  • "Art Spiegelman Interview With Don Swaim," Wired For Books, November 9, 1991.


  • Other Resources

  • Art Spiegelman -- Facebook:

  • Questions And Resources For Art Spiegelman's Maus:

  • David Samuels, "Q & A With Art Spiegelman, Creator Of 'Maus,'" Tablet (November 13, 2013).

  • Kasia Boddy, "MetaMaus By Art Spiegelman: Review," Telegraph, November 25, 2011.

  • Art Spiegelman, "Why Mice?," New York Review Of Books (October 20, 2011).

  • "Art Spiegelman's Meta Tour Of 'Meta Maus,'" Laist, October 13, 2011.

  • Ruth Franklin, "Art Spiegelman's Genre-Defying Holocaust Work, Revisited," New Republic (October 5, 2011).

  • Laurel Maury, "Art Spiegelman, The Artist As A 'Young %@&*!,'" NPR, November 6, 2008.

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