Stylistic Mood and Maus:
Since the introduction of the comic book in the early 20th century, style and presentation of stories have been drastically altered. The usage of graphics, motions, and details in the frames of comic books has only added to the themes and plots of comics. However, in Chapter 2 of Art Spiegelman’s Maus II, a close reading determines that Spiegelman sets the mood and tone in a darkened light; using the comic book atmosphere to create dark images that aptly reflect mood and feeling of Valdek’s suffering. In his two-part graphic novel Maus and Maus II, Arty Spiegelman’s creative presentation and style creates a mood that greater emphasizes the emotions fostered by the Holocaust. This essay will discuss the definition of style and mood, coupled with a critical analysis of the tone and presentation of the close reading.
Mood is characterized by its grammatical purpose, where its linguistics are used to create a tone of modality. This tone allows for authors and speakers to convey messages in a different light outside the bounds of words in text. Semiotics places a great deal of value on moods and tones in stories, seeing them to be important aspects to how the reader should feel about the text. In the case of Maus II, the dark mood of uneasiness and strife is aptly perceived by the reader in pages 69-70, where the images of death camps contrasts with the ever growing insanity of Valdek. Specifically, the image of Vladek on page 72 in the middle row; his facial expression resonates with the fear and sadness of the words he speaks. This frame helps the reader understand the deep emotional trauma of Vladek’s experiences; without the image of Vladek, one might not be able to fully comprehend his emotion, causing the reader to lose sight of the important feelings Spiegelman wants the audience to feel.
Specific images also help move the tone of the graphic novel towards sadness and dismay. In the reading, the...