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Maus I And Life Is Beautiful Comparison Essay

1036 words - 4 pages

Maus I and Life is Beautiful ComparisonOf all the Holocaust movies that exist, one in particular stands out. directed by Roberto Benigni in 1997, and often described as the slightly "happy" Holocaust movie, Life is Beautiful tells the story of an Italian man named Guido, leading up to and during the World War II and Nazi rise to power. Despite telling a Holocaust story, this film has a very light mood because of Guido's happy-go-lucky nature and his enthusiasm, but is also very emotional and sad at times because of Guido's dedication to protecting his son from the horrors of the labor camps. Maus on the other hand; a visual novel written and drawn by Art Spiegelman concerning the Holocaust, is a lot darker and heavier in terms of its themes, similar to most other Holocaust media. This visual novel follows a character named Vladek Spiegelman in World War II Poland, and his experiences leading up to and following the Nazi occupation of Poland. When compared as Holocaust stories, Maus and Life is Beautiful show many differences in their treatment of Jewish people along with presenting very distinct amounts of Nazi influence and presence.The Nazi invasion in Maus is presented as a very gradual process that later picks up more heat. Following Germany's success at the beginning of World War II, the increasing amount of Nazi presence in Poland is depicted through the many Nazi flags and German soldiers put on the streets.As the Nazi influence increases, Jewish people are slowly stripped of every right they have as a citizen of Poland, and as human beings. With the introduction of Jewish starts and documents along with the German Police, the streets of Poland start to become regulated by the Gestapo who beat and rob the Jewish people without repercussion. In contrast to the large amount of Nazi presence in Maus, Life is Beautiful does not display anywhere near as much Nazi presence as Maus does. In the beginning stages of the film, before Guido is sent to the labor camps, there are no German forces occupying the Italian city Arezzo in which Guido and his uncle reside. Seemingly at first, the only Nazi influences present are Italian citizens inspired by Hitler and the Nazi vision, though later on in the movie it is apparent that the German forces do invade Arezzo, even if not explicitly shown. The German soldiers occupying Arezzo in Life is Beautiful are implied to be few in numbers, as they are not walking on the streets in abundance and because Italy is allied with Germany, and instead of Nazi flags there are hate statements against the Jewish on walls on the street and gates of stores. The large amount of Nazi presence occupying the rest of Italy is depicted through the labor camps that are built in the country by Germans in order to forcefully work and execute Italian Jewish people without deporting them out of the country. Overall, the depiction of Nazi presence in these two stories is very different because of the dissimilar relationships Italy and...

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