Textual Analysis Maus 19-20

Textual Analysis
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EngelsMiddelbare schoolvwoLeerjaar 4

This lesson contains 27 slides, with text slides.

Items in this lesson

Textual Analysis

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Textual Analysis | When?
You are going to write the textual analysis about Maus on Wednesday the 15th of April.
You have 90 minutes.

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This assignment will be made available to you on classroom at 13.30 and needs to be handed in on both classroom and turnitin by 15.00 o’clock. This means that everyone will have 90 minutes to complete their textual analysis.

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You already know the structure, as you have written an essay about The Catcher in the Rye before. The structure is similar.

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Introduction (Final sentence: thesis statement)

Body paragraphs (Point, Example, Explanation)

Conclusion (recap main points and answer your thesis statement)

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Thesis statement:
What is the meaning / main significance of these pages? In other words, what does Spiegelman show here and to what effect?
Body paragraphs:
How is this created through words and visuals?

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- Introduce Maus and its factual information (context),
- Explain in a nutshell what the work is about,
- Place the pages into context, what are they about?
- Introduce thesis statement / main observation
- Thesis statement integrated in your introduction: In this passage/extract….
(Use the guiding questions and try to answer the question: how are these pages significant to the plot?)

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Thesis statement

This passage is significant because…..
This passage illustrates Spiegelman’s …….
These pages are significant as Spiegelman uses ..... on these pages to show .... / explore the theme of ... / to depict ....
These pages are significant as Spiegelman illustrates.... 
through ....

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Point: Statement which you are going to prove in your body paragraph. This statement supports your thesis statement.

Phrases to help you:
“Spiegelman depicts …. to highlight….”
“In this passage, the visual motif of ….. appears to…..”
“The narration used in this passage is significant as…..”

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Example: You discuss an example. This means you refer to specific panels and discuss these in detail. How has he visualized a particular event? What choices has he made? Think of: colour (black/white/grey/lines) and drawing style (detailed, sketchy), (foreground / background), etc.

Explanation: You explain the significance. (Do not summarize - analyze!) What is the effect? What does this show us? This illustrates... This highlights...
Note: I expect you to use abundant examples from the pages. 

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Briefly summarize your main observations
Come back to your main observation and end with a strong final statement that answers what you believe to be Spiegelman’s message in writing this work.

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Aspects to focus on
Narrative voice
Who is telling the story? Art or Vladek? What is he discussing and why is it relevant that we get his perspective? Comment on the voice-over and/or dialogue. Do they interrupt each other? How does he portray this event? Does he leave out parts? Can we trust him? Think about the features of postmodernism - there is no absolute truth presented, only someone's perspective.

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The depiction of characters (next to each other, one above the other, do they look at each other, do they look away, expressions, emanata, etc). 
How do they interact with each other (speech bubbles, tone, word choice)?

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The type of panels, size, shape, how you read the panels (is one bigger than the other - why?, different shape - why?, what are your eyes drawn to and why is that, how do you read these panels), how are they linked (flashback, one event, same event from different perspectives)

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Imagery / Visuals / Symbolism
What about the visuals? What does Spiegelman show us on this page and how? Do you see any motifs (stationary bike, circle/spotlight, train, etc)? How has he drawn these and what is the effect, what does it show us, what is the meaning?

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Example Introduction / Outline
Read the sample introduction and outline on Classroom. 
Note: You are NOT allowed to use these for your textual analysis - you need to write your own. If you so use (parts) of this it's plagiarism and you get a 1.1

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Sample outline
Thesis Statement: Thus, these pages are significant as Spiegelman uses different bordered panels and the composition on these pages to make the reader an active party to both past and present narratives whilst also providing insight into Vladek’s character as a Holocaust survivor.

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Point one:
These pages depict the start of Art interviewing his father and this overarching narrative is depicted through him questioning and interrupting Vladek, thus combining past and present narratives.

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Point two:
Secondly, Spiegelman has deliberately chosen for this opening scene to take place in Art’s old bedroom to show the distance between him and his father and focus on their strained relationship.

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Point three:
In these pages, Spiegelman introduces Vladek as a Holocaust survivor through the scene with the coat hanger and him being on a stationary bike whilst speaking to his son about his traumatic past.

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Point four:
Lastly, Spiegelman highlights the way Vladek consistently perceives and presents himself in a positive manner and this supports the postmodernist feature that there is no absolute truth.

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A: Knowledge, understanding and interpretation of the text and its context (10)
B: Analysis and evaluation of how language and visuals are used to constuct meaning (10)
C: Coherence, focus and organisation (5)
D: Language (5)
Maximum = 30 

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Criteria: A
A: Knowledge, understanding and interpretation of the text and its context

  • To what extent does the analysis show an understanding of the text and its context and make references from it?
● To what extent are interpretations supported by relevant references to the text?

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Criteria B
B: Analysis and evaluation of how language and visuals are used to constuct meaning (10)

  • To what extent does the analysis show analysis and evaluation of how the author uses stylistic and structural features to shape meaning?
● To what extent does the student show a good understanding of how meaning is constructed visually? (graphic novel terminology and structure)

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Criteria C
C: Coherence, focus and organisation (5)

● To what extent does the analysis show coherence, focus and organisation?
● Are supporting ideas well integrated into the textual analysis?

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Criteria D
D: Language (5)

  •  To what extent is student’s use of vocabulary, tone, syntax, style and use of terminology
accurate, carried and effective?

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  • past and present intertwined
  • Family
  • Betrayal
  • Racism
  • Trauma (Holocaust survivor)
  • Guilt & Blame
  • Survivor's instinct
  • Race & Class
  • Importance of Luck
  • Human interdependence
  • Morality
  • circles / spotlight
  • stationary bike
  • train
  • grid / window

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