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Unfortunate Events Essay

MAUS is a graphic novel, and the author uses both text and images to present the story, combining literature with art. Now that you have read the novel, you are ready to consider the role of the textual and visual elements of the story.

Begin by considering which aspects of the story stood out for you. Perhaps you noted the author’s use of animal metaphors, or maybe you felt the father/son relationship was most compelling part. Perhaps the artist in you led you to focus on how Spiegelman used simplistic drawing techniques that portrayed so much. Obviously, the Holocaust is the basis for the story, but maybe you found that the story presented the event in a unique way.

For this essay, choose one aspect of the story that you found most interesting and discuss it through the elements of text and art. Use your own ideas, evidence from the text (descriptions, summary, and correctly cited quotes*), and explanations of how the novel supports your claims. You must include a discussion of both the text and the images.

Ideas to consider (choose one):

You can choose one literary technique and discuss how Spiegelman uses it to develop his theme.

Setting
Characters
Plot structure
POV
The role of specific artistic techniques to enhance the message.

The use of the graphic novel form to present important, terrible events, such as the Holocaust.

The use of animals as metaphors and the way this enhances the message of the novel.

The role of memory – both Vladek’s and Art’s.

The role of prejudice – in the story and with the story tellers.

The role of guilt or survival.

How does MAUS help us understand and contextualize history in a more meaningful way?

Other topic of your choice.

Length: 3 pages

Requirements: MLA format, a Works Cited page (incl. MAUS and support sources) and in-text citations.

*To cite specific panels: include the panel number(s) with the page number, separated by a forward slash (/). For example, (4/3-5) is read as “page four, panels three through five.

Panels should be identified by counting left to right, top to bottom.

**You may submit your Works Cited page for my review prior to submitting your essay if you wish to ensure the correctness of your work.