A Coping Method?

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"Ilzecki and his wife didn't come back from the war...But his son remained alive; ours did not. And anyway we had to give Richieu to hide a year later" (81).

When I read these first few chapters, I was taken aback by how upfront the characters were about their hardships. Maybe it is because of the format of the book. It is quite short for telling such a detailed story, a part of someone's history that probably could have been made much much longer. Spiegelman says to his father, "I still want to draw that book about you...about your life in Poland, and the war" (12). He knew from the beginning that this would be an illustrated story, like a comic book. Perhaps he needed to be upfront about all the stories. Having almost constant dialogue makes flowering descriptions and narratives full of adjectives nonexistent.

Time may also have played a role. By now, Spiegelman's father may have accepted what happened in the past. There is no use getting all choked up about something that is now history, right? Maybe not. Maybe it is actually a difficult subject to talk about without simply stating the facts. Maybe telling the story like this is somewhat of a coping method. Going into details, means going into more emotions, which could make telling the story a bit difficult.

2 Comments

Josie talked about a similar topic in her blog. Like I said over there, the honesty in Spiegelman's novel is so moving to me, especially in the illustrations. He doesn't show detail strictly through the narrative of the story. He shows some graphic images, all in comic book form. It's so impressive.

Brooke Kuehn said:

Karyssa, I agree, it is really impressove. I really respect artists who can use such simplistic artwork to generate so much emotion and meaning.

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