Annie Fantastic essay overall! I've left some comments in red below, but you've done an excellent job in explaining textual evidence throughout, so well done! 😃 The way you logically unpack evidence is usually something a lot of students struggle with, but it's a huge strength in this essay! Couple of opportunities to tighten up topic/concluding sentences, but other than that, you're on the right track 👍️
‘Maus,' a graphic novel by Art Spiegelman, explores the story of a Jewish survivor of the Holocaust in World War Two, Vladek, between 1944 to 1945 and his son Artie, who attempts to understand his experiences in the present day during the 1970s to 1980s. World War 2, led by Nazi Germany, involved the persecution and murder of undesirable minority groups, specifically Jews. Optional, but you could replace this with a clearer contextual sentence that's more relevant to the text (as opposed to pure background info). For example: 'Set amidst the horrors of World War 2 and the genocide committed by Nazi Germany, 'Maus' explores...' Spiegelman conveys the idea that war and genocide have dehumanising effects exclusively by incorporating written and visual modes great integration of the prompt here! such as anthropomorphism, clothing, symbolism, dialogue, shading, facial expression, and tone. If your teacher says this is fine, stick with it, but usually I'd advise against listing evidence like this in an introduction. The intro is for introducing IDEAS, so focus on your interpretation of the text rather than the specific textual details - those are best saved for body paragraphs when you can get marks for analysing them! This invites readers to respond sympathetically to the Jews in World War Two. <--this is definitely true, but can we take this a step further? The text isn't just about being sympathetic to the plight of Jewish people in the Holocaust - it's also about extending sympathy to the suffering and experiences of others even when we don't understand them. Yes, the subject matter of the text focuses on WWII, but it's often more impressive if you can explore what the text is saying about ~ humanity! ~ and other big picture ideas.
Throughout the novel, Spiegelman utilises anthropomorphism to convey how Jews were treated as inferior to the Germans during World War Two, thus, dehumanising them. Are you trying to say that the Nazis dehumanised Jews? Or that Spiegelman does? Might be worth making it clear that Spiegelman uses anthropormorphism to represent the experience of dehumanisation, but Spiegelman doesn't seek to dehumanise people himself. For example, in the comic, 'Maus,' Jews are depicted as mice and Germans as cats. This visual mode illustrates the respective roles of Nazis as predators (cats) and Jews as prey (mice) in World War Two. It reinforces the belief that Jews were subhuman, viewed as vermin who needed extermination. It represents how the Jews were stripped of their humanity as they were reduced to objects to be hunted down and eliminated. Anthropomorphism helps readers
highlight understand the persecution the Jews experienced, supporting them to further sympathise with the victims. Furthermore, the use of clothing Spiegelman has drawn onto the Jewish prisoners in the World War Two concentration camps further attempts to depict the dehumanisation of the minority race. Very strong analytical sentence - you've articulated a clear idea and directly linked this to textual evidence - great job! The Star of David armbands were used to collectively identify them, which diminishes their individual identity. They were also dressed up in the same prisoner uniforms and were branded with tattoos like cattle. Readers are positioned to sympathise with the loss of identity of the Jewish, which disintegrated in the chaos of the war. Thus, through multiple visual modes such as anthropomorphism and clothing in practice, Spiegelman displays how war and genocide have dehumanising effects, engaging readers to respond sympathetically in the novel, 'Maus.' Good paragraph conclusion and selection of evidence here
Furthermore, throughout the graphic novel 'Maus', the dehumanising effects of war and genocide are continued to be shown through the continuous diminishing of Jewish identity. Opening sentence is a bit repetitive; make sure each Topic Sentence has a clear and unique focus. For example: Furthermore, Spiegelman highlights the horrors of war to engender readers' fury and sadness at the treatment inflicted on innocent people. (<-- this is also good as it directly addresses the 'provoke readers' part of the prompt!) Scattered throughout the novel, chimneys are utilised as a visual mode symbol to represent the abhorrent manner in which Jews were systematically murdered in gas chambers. It further helps represent the dehumanisation of Jews, whose millions of individual identities and personal stories were reduced to smoke and ashes from the chimneys of Nazi concentration camps. The chimneys are symbolic and illustrate to readers the destruction of Jewish culture and identity. Additionally, on page 61, again, if your teacher says this is necessary, leave it, but typically there's no need to memorise page numbers. More importantly, this is an opportunity to showcase your understanding of the plot instead of the page count - i.e. tell us what was happening at this point of the story (e.g. Additionally, after recounting the brutality of his military experience, Vladek tells Artie about life in the concentration camp...) Vladek narrates to Artie how the Nazis made Jews 'sing prayers while they laughed and beat us… they cut off our beards.' This dehumanises the Jews because it shows that the Jews were mere entertainment for the Germans and nothing more. They would laugh and beat the Jews because it was a fun game, and their actions did not feel criminal or cruel as the Jews were considered pests of society. Judaism is the religion of the Jewish people, and a man's beard is a significant aspect of this. 'They cut off our beards,' meant the Jews were disconnected from their roots, further eradicating their identities and showing the dehumanising effects of war. Readers are positioned to feel outraged by the activities of the Nazi party and thus sincerely express sympathy towards the Jews who suffered from an identity crisis due to the mistreatment of their race in World War Two. Therefore, visual and written modes such as symbolism and dialogue have been applied simultaneously this would be a bit stronger if you used the author's name instead of making it a passive sentence (i.e. try to say Spiegelman suggests X rather than X is a suggestion that is made in the text.) Just writing 'Spiegelman employs both visual and written modes such as symbolism and dialoge' would be fine! in the graphic novel, 'Maus,' to instigate the dehumanising effects of war and genocide, inviting readers to respond sympathetically.
On page 232 Again, this isn't 'wrong', but it's a missed opportunity to provide context for this evidence. Also not ideal to start a body paragraph off with evidence - a Topic Sentence would be helpful here (e.g. Maus also features various confronting written and visual features that Spiegelman combines to magnify the enormity of human suffering during the Holocaust) in the graphic novel, 'Maus,' the panel at the bottom shows a closeup of the Jews in concentration camps being engulfed in flames. Art uses shading to accentuate the roaring flames which cover the Jewish mice. The shading helps draw the reader's attention to the facial expressions of the mice screaming in agony. The multimodality in practice in this panel represents the inhumane experiences endured by the Jews during the Holocaust. It reminds the reader of the dehumanising atrocities committed during the Holocaust, helping them understand the sufferings of the victims and further sympathise with them. Additionally, Vladek, a Jewish survivor of World War Two, recounts to Art how the 'prisoners that worked there poured gasoline over the live ones and dead ones.' World War Two for the Jewish was equivalent to hell due to the torture they endured before their final breaths. The bleak tone Vladek uses in his delivery of the suffering of the Jews displays the dehumanising effects of World War Two on Holocaust survivors. This form of torture the Nazis inflicted on the Jews is viewed as inhumane to Art and the audience today. However, Vladek has become numb to the atrocities his community has faced as it was the norm during the war, thus, the reason for his monotonous, emotionless, and inhumane tone. EXCELLENT analysis! (Also very depressing, but I'm focusing on this as essay evidence!) You've clearly explained the tone of a character and linked this to the meaning Spiegelman is communicating - great work. This rouses readers to sympathise with the Holocaust survivors for enduring these traumatic experiences. Now that we're getting to the end of the essay, can we be more specific than just saying 'this makes us have sympathy for the bad things'? That point was well made in the first body paragraph, but it's worth considering extensions of this idea; e.g. This rouses readers to sympathise not just with the traumas endured by those who lived and died in the Holocaust, but also for the continuing legacy of trauma that the survivors and their families will experience for the rest of their lives. Thus, through shading, facial expressions, dialogue and tone, Art has conveyed the dehumanising traumatic effects of war and genocide, making readers deeply sympathise with the Holocaust survivors in the graphic novel, 'Maus.'
In conclusion, Spiegelman's graphic novel 'Maus,' uses multiple written and visual modes to convey the idea of how war and genocide have dehumanising effects, engaging the reader to respond sympathetically. The novel's use of anthropomorphism, clothing, symbolism, dialogue, shading, facial expression and tone all help convey the experiences of Jews during World War Two, which resonates with contemporary society today. Good conclusion (though you could skip the listing of evidence), but see above re: extending ideas and interpretations. If every paragraph and the conclusion all end by saying 'this gives the readers sympathy', your assessor might see this as a bit repetitive or simplistic. Try to have each paragraph end in a different place by asking questions like 'what do we have sympathy for?' 'why do we have sympathy?' 'who does Spiegelman encourage us to have sympathy for?' <-- This will also help in preparing for a range of similar essay questions.
Overall though, you've thoroughly answered the essay question and demonstrated strong knowledge of the text and explanatory abilities, so well done! 😊