From what point of view is Art Spiegelman's Maus written in?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Spiegelman's Maus is written in multiple points of view depending on which part is being read. There are two narrators in the story: Valdek and Artie. Artie records Vladek's narration as objectively as possible because he records it on a tape recorder. Vladek's words are then placed in each corresponding frame; hence, whenever Vladek is narrating, it is Artie objectively recording his stories. On the other hand, Vladek's stories are presented in first person point of view because he tells them that way--of course. Whenever Artie is telling his side of the story, usually about his experiences with his father Vladek, he is also using the first person perspective. However, when Vladek or Artie discuss Anja's side of the story, it is at that point that limited omniscient, (authors overhear thoughts or words of others) and objective (stating facts) are used simultaneously. The intriguing part of the story is the absence of Anja's first person point of view because it leaves an ambiguous hole for speculation arise or for Vladek to interfere with Anja's story. At no point can the omniscient point of view take place because neither Artie nor Vladek can ultimately know or remember everything that took place on the surface or inside of each character.

To Spiegelman's credit, though, he took painstaking strides to be as objective as possible with the facts. One example is found when Artie implores his father to keep his story in chronological order for the purpose of the book being written and so he can show the Holocaust in the most real light as possible (84). Later, while Artie is talking to Mala about her experiences in the war, he says, "I wish I got Mom's story while she was alive. She was more sensitive. It would give the book some balance"(134). Finally, and to Artie's devastation, he learns that Vladek had destroyed the diaries after Anja's suicide in 1968, which silenced her forever (160).

See eNotes Ad-Free

Start your 48-hour free trial to get access to more than 30,000 additional guides and more than 350,000 Homework Help questions answered by our experts.

Get 48 Hours Free Access
Approved by eNotes Editorial Team