Being able to take the two most impactful pages from both books and be able to take all the time in the world to trace them trully
Between my first trace and second, we can see a great resemblance in the structure in how Art illustrates the scene.What I noticed from the first trace is that it is really interesting how each row consists of the same frame with slight changes. You can see Artie in the bottom right corner in the first row.
The only difference in the shot is that Artie’s thoughts are appearing in the second panel and third. The next row of panels shows a progression of the movement within the scene, which includes the mother coming into the room and then leaving it. Finally, in this trace, it concludes with three panels that connect with each other for a single setting which in this case is the prison.
What Is truly interesting about this structure and the second trace is that it follows the same exact order but in reverse.
The first row of panels consists of two panels that when combined create one single setting, the second row shows the progression of movement within the scene of Anja spotting Vladeck and running to hug him, and finally it shows the same exact setting twice. I originally hadn’t noticed this until I traced the actual pages. I realized when tracing that a lot of the scenes where simply repetition of what was going on in the past panel or a simple connection between one panel and the other. What both these traces show is that a lot of times Art Spiegelman hides patterns and images within the panels themselves for which one must appreciate and be more careful when reading Maus and be conscious of observing the pages a whole and not individual panels.
The most apparent contrast between the two traces that I did is the fact that in my first Maus trace, the people being portrayed are human showing human emotion and on the other hand, in my second tracing of Maus, the Poles are being portrayed as pigs and the Jews as mice.
This contrast is a big one especially when both books are called Maus which is simply mouse in German. Throughout the whole book, the reader becomes accustomed to thinking of the characters in the story like Vladeck, Anja, or art as Mice and not human, and to get to this point of the book and now associate them with human beings sorta creates a wake up call that the events being portrayed by mice through the book, where experiences that where actually suffered by ordinary human beings. This change in the portrayal of characters made me be able to connect more to the moment that I traced. When I saw Artie’s mom come to him and ask if he loved her, I could only picture my mom doing the same thing. This simply resulted in me crying because I could never imagine myself ever doing that to my mom at this age.
As I mentioned in my analysis of my tracings, It was very hard for me to feel strong emotions during both books. It is clear why it was easier for me to feel more in my first Maus trace but why was I also able to feel as well in the final page of book 2 (My second trace)?
Even tho there aren’t any humans portrayed in the final page, my conclusion was that by Art’s decision to put a tombstone at the very end of the book served as a reminder that we are talking about human beings, just like the first trace did. It reminds the reader that the characters that we were so fortunate to experience through the book were people that had burial like human beings and not like mice which are inexistent.
Explain what drew you to the two pages you traced?
What drew me to page 105 and page 296 was my emotions towards them. I am a very emotional person and tend to cry to sad movies or sad books with great ease. Especially with things about the holocaust since it is a topic that is close to me since my grandfather and his family had to survive it. But for some reason, it was really hard for me to feel strong emotions throughout this book. My conclusion is that by illustrating the horrors of this war being done to mice, I figured I could not associate it as well. But page 105 which consisted of the comic that Art did in 1972, and the final page of the book caused me to tear up and feel a great degree of emotion. I picked these two pages because they truly made me feel both happiness and sadness, which were two emotions that were hard for me to feel throughout the whole book.
What did you find yourself leaving out of the tracing? What did you find yourself striving to include in the tracing? Why?
I decided I would try to trace as close as I could get to the book. The reason for this was because I felt that I was under-appreciating the time and effort that goes into each panel. I wanted to have a sense of how it felt for the artist to draw these impactful pictures and for that reason, I tried not to leave out anything.
To start top to bottom, the first item is a pill pack that holds Ritalin. I always carry Ritalin in my bag because I never know when I will need to be fully focused, and forget that I have ADHD.
The next item is my lovely backpack. I’ve had that backpack since 10th grade and it really speaks to how I am as a person because it’s supposed to be for snowboarding or skiing. The backpack has two mechanisms to hold skis and a snowboard. The reason why It speaks my personality is because I am a really stubborn person and when I first got it all my friends would tell me how it was too small or that it wasn’t supposed to be for school but I stuck with it and made it work even up in college.
The next item is my ear muffs. I have ear muffs because whenever I have to take an exam or quiz I have to put them on because as a person with severe ADHD I will get distracted with any type of noise so any chance to cancel the noise out is perfect for me. This also shows how I am stubborn and don’t care what others think because in high school I would have people bother me because I looked like the people that work to signal the airplanes on where to park and would make fun of how I looked like when I took tests but I didn’t care.
The next item that I have is a train ticket from Boston to Providence. I always keep any tickets for special moments and that train I took with my girlfriend when I went to surprise here in Boston. I went to Providence with her because my best friend goes to brown and we both really wanted to see him.
The final object is my computer and there really isn’t much to say about my computer.