Explaining and Reflecting The Complete Maus: A Suriviors Tale cultural legacies


introduce Malcolm Gladwell’s Outliers, summarizing the book in a way that lays out the book’s central thesis and key ideas but that gives most attention to his notion of “cultural legacy,” including the idea that such legacies can be positive or negative. You must clearly explain the concept and should probably include a short salient quotation and at least one brief example.

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transition to The Complete Maus: A Survivor’s Tale and provide a summary of the text, concluding with a thesis that answers the prompt. Your summary should cover both the basic plot elements of Maus and the key technical elements that any reader would need to understand–e.g., that it is a graphic-style memoir, features animal characters

PROMPT: Using Gladwell’s concept of cultural legacy as a starting point, what does Maus suggest are the “legacies” of the Holocaust for the Spiegelman family and even perhaps for the broader Jewish community, or even humankind?

Technical elements: Framed, Comic, Past, Present, Future with the son (ART) Narrator in the story line) FEATURES ANIMALS AND WHY, ETC


Your body paragraphs, as always, should begin with a topic sentence claim that makes a point related to your thesis and answering the prompt. For this essay, although Gladwell is part of the context, your primary purpose is not to support or dispute his claim about cultural legacies. Your summary and explanation of Gladwell should be restricted to the introductory paragraph only; you do not need to refer to Gladwell in the thesis or body paragraphs. Instead, your body paragraphs should be devoted to detailed analysis of Maus supporting the claim you make about the legacies that stem from the Holocaust. You may want to return to Gladwell and his notion of the cultural legacy in your conclusion, but do not spend time explaining his concepts in the body paragraphs. 4



Unless you get explicit approval from me early in the drafting and have a good reason for doing otherwise, you must use evidence from relevant scenes in both Parts I and II of The Complete Maus. Your argument should show your familiarity with the text as a whole and make connections between similar scenes as warranted. Papers that do not meet this criterion will be penalized.5.


Because of the unique genre of this text, your analysis should include extensive discussion of the visual as well as the verbal components of the text


In addition, your essay must include a reproduction of two visual images from Maus. You will need to import an electronic image from the book into the body of your essay, by taking a picture with your smart phone, by scanning, or by finding an image on the Internet. These images should not be decorative but should be used as evidence to support your argument and analyzed within the body of the essay. For more information on how to incorporate images into your essay, see the “Citing Maus” handout and Little Seagull Handbook, W-5c. Note: Papers that do not meet this criterion and that do not follow proper formatting for images will be penalized.6. Because you are required to include visual images from the book, you may need to submit your final essay as a pdf rather than a Word document (since images sometimes do not save properly in Turnitin). Please be prepared to submit a Word version of your final essay if requested.

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