Bunker Down

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Vladek: "In the kitchen was a coal cabinet maybe 4 foot wide. Inside I made a hole to go down to the cellar." (110)

I thought the ingenuity that Vladek had to make a bunker inside of a coal bin was brilliant. He thought of everything, which, I suppose, would be something that he would have to think about or risk getting caught and killed. Without such cleverness, the dogs would have found the entire family. Later, Vladek and the others make a bunker out of a chandelier. Again this was extremely clever considering no one would ever think to look at a chandelier to see if people were hidden up there.

Going back to the dogs that were searching through the coal with the Nazis, it seems a little weird that some animals get to talk and look like people in the graphic novel, but some are in their traditional roles. Another example at some point is when Anja and Vladek are hiding in a basement, and they see a huge rat. This showed that the author still found a way to incorporate animals that didn't talk to help carry the story forward to enhance the characters in order to show that they were supposed to be seen as people and not animals. It seems to bring the whole story to a clearer focus that illustrates how just drawing humans would not have worked out as successfully as drawing mice did. This is because there needs to be that separation from people (that someone mentioned during the class discussion) so that the reader is able to view what is taking place instead of feeling numb to the story.


When I first read the part where there were other animals, such as the rats, I was a little confused. I didn't know how it would work to have both people-animals and animal-animals. However, after reflecting on it, it made sense that Spiegelman would still put normal animals in the books. I read Maus II after reading the first book, and Spiegelman specifically points out some animal-animals. He is at his therapist's house and he says, "His place is overrun with stray dogs and cats. Can I say this, or does it completely louse up my metaphor?" (43, panel 5). I think that since he calls attention to it, the reader is supposed to realize that he's aware the metaphor isn't perfect, but it provides that emotional distance the reader needs when reading about such a traumatic event.

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