Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Reality Comes Full Circle

Going along with what has been discussed about the inclusion of the photographs among the Speigleman's drawings specifically in Barry's post, I was most affected when I came to the page that had Vladek's photograph, but then I remembered that the book essentially opens with a photograph, yet when I looked at that photo, I did not feel disoriented, rather I passed over it, not thinking anything. In retrospect, however, I think this is a clever technique used by Spiegleman. As I read through the novel, I become accustomed to the images of the the mice and eventually the disorientation wore off, but when Vladek's picture appeared, I found myself feeling very a human face. By putting the picture of Richieu in the beginning of the novel, assuming the reader will pass over it, acknowledging its presence but not its significance, I think Spiegleman is suggesting how society has the tendency to be narrow-minded and unaware of others who surround us.
In addition to this, in the last panel of the novel, Vladek calls Art "Richieu." While this goes along with Vladek's increasing memory loss which is addressed in the last several pages, I feel this brings the novel to a full circle. Richieu was mentioned at the beginning, in the dedication, and now he is mentioned at the finale on the book. This idea of the full circle shows how the past is always present, and never truly in the past. In fact, this theme plays out through the entire novel because Art is indirectly living the past through his father's stories. We have also seen this theme in several of the texts we have read and goes along with the concept of the va. Distance or space, whether it be literally by page numbers, geographical, or in time, is a relationship. By mentioning Richieu in the last panel, Spiegleman is conveying the va between his brother and him, his father and him, his ancestors and him, and the whole of society and him.

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