Maus Questions and Answers
by Art Spiegelman

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Explain the employment of “mask-wearing” in Art Spiegelman’s Maus: A Survivor’s Tale.

In Maus, the Jews wear masks to hide their Jewish identity and mix normally in society. The Jews are depicted as mice, whereas the Poles are drawn as pigs, so the Jews wear pig-masks to hide from the Nazis, and persuade the Poles (many of whom are also hostile to Jews) to help them.

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In Art Spiegelman's graphic novel, Maus, the Jews are depicted as mice, the Poles as pigs, and the Germans as cats. When they have to go out in public, one of the principal ways for the Jews to hide is to wear masks, disguising themselves as pigs, a creature the predatory cats cannot eat.

In one scene, Vladek has to make a train journey, wearing a pig mask. He talks to the uniformed...

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