Document Type

Thesis - University Access Only

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department / School



Morey, Sheri This thesis examines the development of the comic book medium and the recent rise of graphic novels. It particularly focuses on Art Spiegelman's Maus, a two-volume graphic novel about his parents' struggle to survive Nazi Europe and Spiegelman's own survival of surviving parents. This paper argues that Maus contains two protagonists[1]father and son, Vladek and Art Spiegelman. It further analyzes Spiegelman's role in his graphic novel as the artist creating the work; his technique and research play a vital and active role. The thesis then examines how creating Maus played a therapeutic role for Spiegelman; in need of mourning he created an elegy. The effects the success of Maus on both Spiegelman and literature are considered in the final chapter. This study defines common terms associated with sequential art and includes artwork from Maus to aid in the understanding of the graphic novel.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Spiegelman, Art. Maus
Children of Holocaust survivors, Writings of
Holocaust survivors -- United States -- Biography -- Comic books, strips, etc.
Graphic novels



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University