MAUS by Art Spiegelman is considered, by Jules Feiffer to be “A remarkable work, awesome in its conception and execution… at one and the same time a novel, a documentary, a memoir, and a comic book. Brilliant, just brilliant” (MAUS). MAUS portrays Nazi Germany in all its flaw. Whilst MAUS represents Nazi Germany, Animal Farm represents the events leading up to The Russian Revolution. Both of these tales are told to symbolize an important moment in history. Although both of these events are extremely tragic, they’ve had an important role in this world.
During MAUS, we learn about the impact that Vladek’s role in he Holocaust had on Art. In Animal Farm, we learn about the importance of leadership with Napoleon (Stalin) being the key factor. Both of these stories have pros and cons that make them better and worse. But, in my opinion one has more flaws than the other. I believe that MAUS is better than Animal Farm because it’s more historically accurate, provides a more fluent description of it’s characters and the theme is portrayed better. The events that took place leading up to The Russian Revolution were extremely horrific and made lots of political and social changes to the world.
The main purpose of the nimals rebelling against the human is so they can gain equality and freedom. In the end, this is not achieved. The animals end up all going against each other with the pigs taking most of the control, which leads to a tyrannical leadership. Although Animal Farm portrays the idea of tyranny great they have some flaws including one major one. One of the most famous quotes from Animal Farm, “All animals are equal but some animals are more equal than others” (Orwell). This idea is tremendously flawed and only lessens the historical accuracy of the book.
Animal Farm has one main inaccuracy that if given the historical esearch, anyone would be able to discover. During The Russian Revolution, Stalin and the rest of the Soviet leaders weren’t necessarily living these “great” lives. They had some misfortune like the rest of the citizens. Animal Farm portrays the Russian Revolution from a Democratic Socialist point of view where as The Russian revolution was more “Stalinist”. With that being said, Stalin didn’t own any of the Surplus Value and none of the other leaders did either. Of course they had more power, but they didn’t have more wealth which is largely misconceived in Animal Farm.
In an article by Cliff Notes they state that, Numerous events in the novel are based on ones that occurred during Stalin’s rule. The Battle of the Cowshed parallels the Civil War that occurred after the 1917 Revolution. Jones; Frederick represents Adolf Hitler (1889-1945), who forged an alliance with Stalin in 1939 – but who then found himself fighting Stalin’s army in 1941. Frederick seems like an ally of Napoleon’s, but his forged banknotes reveal his true character. The confessions and executions of the animals reflect the various purges and “show trials” that Stalin conducted to rid himself of any possible threat of dissention.
In 1921, the sailors at the Kronshtadt military base unsuccessfully rebelled against Communist rule, as the hens attempt to rebel against Napoleon. The Battle of the Windmill reflects the U. S. S. R. ‘s involvement in World War II – specifically the Battle of Stalingrad in 1943, when Stalin’s forces defeated Hitler’s (as Napoleon’s defeat Frederick). Finally, the card game at the novel’s end parallels the Tehran Conference (November 28-December 1, 1943), where Stalin, Winston Churchill, and Franklin D. Roosevelt met to discuss the ways to forge a lasting peace after the war – a peace that Orwell mocks by having
Napoleon and Pilkington flatter each other and then betray their duplicitous natures by cheating in the card game. This explains that even though Animal Farm does have some historically accurate, it only reflect the events. Since they’re using animals and also adding things to the situations, they aren’t going to achieve complete historical accuracy. (need help ending sentence). Though Animal Farm has some accuracy, MAUS has more. MAUS provides insight on the holocaust using images, descriptions and even flashbacks. Throughout MAUS, Vladek is able to share his experiences with Art. Art Spiegelman even said,
Vladek: But this what I just told you – about Lucia and so – don’t want you should write about this in your book … It has nothing to do with Hitler, with the Holocaust! Artie: But Pop – it’s great material. It makes everything more real – human. I want to tell your story, the way it really happened. Vladek: But this isn’t so proper, so respectful … I can tell you other stories, but such private things I don’t want you should mention. (Spiegelman 25). This quote helps prove that even though Vladek’s experience in the holocaust might have been – more traumatic, Art still wanted to hear about it.
Art wanted his father to tell his story. This helps further prove that MAUS is accurate because Vladek’s experience was real. Even though he’s represented by an animal, his experience was real. Unlike Animal Farm, Vladek was experiencing The Holocaust not creating The Russian Revolution. Art Spiegelman said in MAUS “I still want to draw that book about you… About your life in Poland, and the war” (Spiegelman 12). Art had always wanted to draw this book about his dad. He wanted to learn about Vladek’s life and how it impacted his. In MAUS, Anja experienced depression because of The Holocaust.
She had a mental illness that only made this story more real. Also, Art was able to relive the experience that Vladek had. He was able to Overall relate to his dad’s struggles throughout the holocaust and help understand why Vladek is so hard on him. Overall, MAUS is the superior story when it comes to historical accuracy because of its images, descriptions, and relations. In Animal Farm, many characters are given descriptions so we have a better understanding of who they are and what their purpose is. Although we get an understanding of who Snowball is, we don’t get the best description of him.
George Orwell introduced him by saying, “The work of teaching and organising the others fell naturally upon the pigs, who were generally recognised as being the cleverest of the animals. Pre-eminent among the pigs were two young boars named Snowball and Napoleon, whom Mr. Jones was breeding up for sale. Napoleon was a large, rather fierce-looking Berkshire boar, the only Berkshire on the farm, not much of a talker, but with a reputation for getting his own way. Snowball was a more vivacious pig than Napoleon, quicker in speech and more inventive, but was not considered to have the same depth of character. Orwell 16).
Orwell is describing Snowball as a vivacious pig, that is quick in speech, intentive but doesn’t have character. Leon Trotsky, who Snowball represents, is described by The History learning site as Leon Trotsky was one of the foremost figures in the Russian Revolution. Trotsky, along with Vladimir Lenin, gave the move for revolution both drive and organisation. Trotsky’s leadership during the Russian Civil War Probably saved the Bolshevik Revolution of November 1917. Leon Trotsky was born in 1879 at Yanovka in the Ukraine. His parents were Jews and his original surname was Bronstein.
Trotsky was a highly intelligent pupil at school though his intellectual arrogance meant that he had few good friends. He got involved in revolutionary groups while still a teenager and was arrested at the age of 19 for writing and printing revolutionary literature and for helping to organise a strike. Trotsky was kept in solitary confinement for three months and then sent to Siberia. This shows that Trotsky was intelligent and arrogant. Though we may be able to infer that Snowball is both of these things, it’s not necessarily said by Orwell. Snowball is portrayed as more of a counterpart to almost antagonize
Napoleon. In the Russian Revolution, Trotsky was always competing with Stalin over power which eventually led to his death. Snowball is given a physical description that in my opinion isn’t always met. If Snowball was as smart as he’s trying to show, then why is he eventually taken over by Napoleon’s power? Animal Farm, although both Snowball and Trotsky lost their leadership, Orwell doesn’t do the best job explaining Snowball and leaves us to infer who he is. Like Animal Farm, MAUS has a counterpart for their lead character too. Art, who is the son of Vladek is the one that is given this roll.
Like Animal Farm, MAUS doesn’t give a description of Art but with the images and the way the book was written. At the beginning of MAUS you can tell that Art is trying to find himself. Although he’s the author reliving his own experience, hes writing on a time where he wasn’t sure who he was. Art doesn’t appear much in the story, only when he’s with his father doing the recordings, but the whole book is written from his perspective. In MAUS Art says, Vladek: These notebooks, and other really nice things of mother.. one time I had a very bad day … and all of these things I destroyed.
Artie: You what? Vladek: After Anja died I had to make an order with everything.. These papers had too many memories, so I burned them. Artie: God damn you! You – you murderer! How the hell could you do such a thing? This was the quote from when Art found out that Vladek destroyed Anja’s journals. Art got really upset because he felt that Anja’s suicide was because of this and that Vladek didn’t give her the comfort she needed to survive. Art can be described as self centered, unkind, curios and introspective. Throughout MAUS we really get to understand and see who he is becoming.
We get to learn why Art is unkind, and why he feels guilty. I think that Art from MAUS is the superior character because with the use of images, his perspective and the emotion shown, we get to understand him more as a character and an author. Throughout Animal Farm we here about things that provide imagery and context. One example of this would be Boxer’s death. Orwell wrote, “Clover dropped to her knees at his side. ‘Boxer! she cried, ‘how are you? ‘ ‘It is my lung,’ said Boxer in a weak voice. ‘It does not matter. I think you will be able to finish the windmill without me.
There is a pretty good store of stone accumulated. I had only another month to go in any case. To tell you the truth, I had been looking forward to my retirement. And perhaps, as Benjamin is growing old too, they will let him retire at the same time and be a companion to me. ”We must get help at once,’ said Clover. ‘Run, somebody, and tell Squealer what has happened…. lence he read: ‘Alfred Simmonds, Horse Slaughterer and Glue Boiler, Willingdon. Dealer in Hides and Bone-Meal. Kennels Supplied. ‘ Do you not understand what that means? They are taking Boxer to the knacker’s! A cry of horror burst from all the animals.
At this moment the man on the box whipped up his horses and the van moved out of the yard at a smart trot. All the animals followed, crying out at the tops of their voices. Clover forced her way to the front. The van began to gather speed. Clover tried to stir her stout limbs to a gallop, and achieved a canter. ‘Boxer! she cried. ‘Boxer! Boxer! Boxer! And just at this moment, as though he had heard the uproar outside, Boxer’s face, with the white stripe down his nose, appeared at the small window at the back of the van. ‘Boxer! cried Clover in a terrible voice.
‘Boxer! Get out! Get out quickly! They’re taking you to your death!… Three days later it was announced that he had died in the hospital at Willingdon, in spite of receiving every attention a horse could have” (Orwell). This was when Boxer wasn’t feeling well and they had sent a “vet” van to pick him up, but then all the animals realized it was actually a knackers van. They all tried to help Boxer by yelling, but all efforts failed. This scene shows some imagery by using the words cry of horror, whipped, and uproar. Although this scene, which I believe is the most intense and uses the most imagery, uses those words it still doesn’t achieve the greatest imagery level that it could.
Orwell decided to end this scene by saying Boxer had died in a hospital. Whilst this provides context, it doesn’t provide imagery. If Orwell would have added the actual death scene, even if it was from a different perspective, it would have been traumatizing but it also would’ve added imagery. We would know what happened, how, and why. This would’ve made Animal Farm have more imagery and the reader would’ve been able to infer more about it. Though Animal Farm has some imagery and context, I feel as though Orwell could’ve achieved more. In Art Spiegelmans MAUS, we get to conclude and make observations from the images that are shown.
Spiegelman gives us the images of him and his father, Vladek, talking and going though the expiriences that Vladek had. This is considered literal imagery. When Vladek had the expiriences with the holocaust and told Artie about them, Artie recorded it and was able to draw up what he saw. Not only is this almost like a second-hand source, but its a second-hand persepctive. It gives us the image that Artie imagined while Vladek was explaining the events that took place. MAUS also has important scenes like the stadoum scence. Spiegelam said,