“Why Comics?” by Hillary Chute Response in Conjunction With Maus

Hillary Chute states that “[comics], in fact, is a medium that involves a substantial degree of reader participation to stitch together narrative meaning” (Chute 22).  At the start of the second chapter in the second volume of Maus,  Spiegelman makes a point of explaining his depression despite the success of the first volume.  He later explains that his father has passes and, since then, has not been able to appropriately use his time to continue to write the second volume.  In addition, he has little motivation to commercialize his work.  It is later revealed that he has been visiting a therapist to help walk him through his melancholy.  In relation to Chute’s sentiments, this stitches the narrative of Maus together.   This happens directly after the chapter which Vladek, Art’s father, is interned in Auschwitz.  It ties together the entire tone of both volumes: the fact that Art has guilt.  Though he concedes this to his therapist, it is only understood through this long depiction of   the present day, within the comic, that truly allow us to understand his guilt.  Hence, the audience stitches together the pieces that Art gives that ultimately enables the audience to recognize Spiegelman’s withered relationship with his father and how he reacts to his father’s narratives as well as his withered relationship with his father.


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