Holocaust Research Paper Ideas On Animals



Acid rain

Adoption of children by single parents

Adoption of interracial children

Affirmative action


Aged, Abuse of

AIDS (Disease)

AIDS: Global response

AIDS/HIV testing

Air bags

Air pollution


Alternative energy sources

Alternative medicine

American foreign policy

Americans with Disabilities Act

Animal rights

Anorexia nervosa



Antitrust law


Arab/Israel conflict

Artificial insemination, Human

Asia's economic crisis

Assisted suicide

Auto repair racket


Biological diversity

Biological warfare


Birth control

Bilingual education

Body piercing



Budget surplus allocation

Bulimia (Eating binges)

Campaign finance

Capital punishment



Census sampling

Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)

Chemical warfare

Child abuse

Child care

Child labor

Child pornography

Children's television

Civil rights


College tuition costs

Computer crime

Constitutional reform


Corporal punishment



Credit card fraud

Criminal justice system



Date rape

Date rape drugs

Death and dying

Death penalty

Deep ecology


Digital television




Domestic violence

Draft, Military


Drug addiction

Drug, Legalization

Drug testing

Drunk driving

Eating disorders



Education standards

Electric utility deregulation

Electronic privacy

Embryo transplantation

Emotional quotient (EQ)

Endangered oceans

Endangered Species Act

Energy efficient cars


Environmental cancer


Equal pay for equal work

Equal Rights Amendment

ESP (Extrasensory perception)



Euro (Single European currency)

Euthanasia (Mercy killing)


Executive pay

Extremist groups

Factory farming

False memory syndrome


Federal budget

Federal Reserve System


Fertilization in vitro, Human

Fetal alcohol syndrome

Film rating system

Fluoridation of water

Food costs

Food irradiation

Food labeling

Food preservatives

Food safety

Food shortages

Food stamps

Foreign aid

Fossil fuels

Foster care

Free Speech

Freedom of the press



Gay marriage

Gay men

Gays in the military

Gene technology

Genetic engineering


Global warming

Green Party

Green revolution

Greenhouse effect

Gulf War Syndrome

Gun control

Hate-crime laws

Hazardous wastes


Health and fitness

Health care

Herbal supplements

HIV testing


Home schooling




Human experimentation


Illegal aliens

Illegal drugs


Immigration and emigration

Independent counsels

Indian Reservation System

Indoor pollution



Information revolution



Intelligence quotient (IQ)


Internet regulation

Interracial marriages

Interreligious marriages


IRS reform

Ivory trade

Japanese American Internment

Judicial double jeopardy

Juvenile justice

Ku Klux Klan

Labor unions


Learning disabilities


Life after death

Line-item veto

Logging in national forests

Long-term care insurance


Majority rule in Africa

Male/female roles

Malpractice insurance

Managed health care


Marriage of Catholic priests

Mass transit

Media bias

Medical ethics: Human trials

Medical Marijuana

Medical records confidentiality

Mental Illness


Migrant education

Migrant workers

Militia groups

Missing children

Mothers Against Drunk Drivers (MADD)

NATO expansion

National Missile Defense System


Noise pollution

Non-smoker's rights

Northern Ireland

Nuclear disarmament

Nuclear energy

Nuclear proliferation

Nuclear war

Nursing homes


Obscenity (Law)

Ocean pollution

Offshore drilling

Oil spills

Opportunistic accounting

Organ transplants

Organic gardening

Organized crime




Paranormal phenomena


Patients' Rights Laws

Performance-enhancing substances


Plastic surgery

Police brutality

Political prisoners

Population control


Prayer in public schools

Prison privatization

Prison reform

Privacy rights



Prostitution (Legalization of)


Public housing reform

Public-school funding

Public Welfare


Quebec separatism

Rain forest


Radon pollution


Real estate boon or bust

Rebirthing therapy

Recycling (Waste)

Religious symbols

Renewable energy

Repressed memory therapy

Reproductive technology


School integration

School uniforms

School vouchers

Searches and seizures

Separation of church and state

Serial murders

Sex discrimination

Sex education

Sex in advertising

Sexual harassment

Sexual misconduct

Sexual values

Single parent families

Single-sex education


Social Security retirement fund

Space exploration (Pros and Cons)

States' rights


Student-athlete compensation

Sudden infant death syndrome




Surrogate mothers



Tax reform

Teacher standards

Technology export controls

Teenage pregnancy

Television-ratings codes

Terminal Illness


Test tube babies

Title IX

Tobacco litigation

United Nations


Victims' rights


War crimes and justice

Waste management

Water pollution

Water shortage

Welfare reform


West Nile Virus


Women in the armed services

Women priests


Zero percent financing



The Maus series of books tell a very powerful story about one man’s experience in the Holocaust. They do not tell the story in the conventional novel fashion. Instead, the books take on an approach that uses comic windows as a method of conveying the story. One of the most controversial aspects of this method was the use of animals to portray different races of people. The use of animals as human races shows the reader the ideas of the Holocaust a lot more forcefully than simply using humans as the characters.

Art Speigelman decided on a very interesting, and possibly offensive to some, scheme of different animals to use. The first type of animal that appears is the mouse (Maus 1 p. 5). Mice were used to represent the Jewish people during the Holocaust as well as the present day. Polish police were involved in the first arrest of Jewish persons (Maus 1 p. 27). Polish people were represented with pigs. Once the Germans appeared, the scheme of the animals began to make sense (Maus 1 p. 33). Germans were shown by the use of cats. The last animal to appear were the dogs (Maus 2 p. 12). The dogs are Americans, and were always friendly to the Jewish people.

The relationship between these animals portray the ideas of the Holocaust very well. Mice are small and scrawny creatures which are usually hunted by Cats. Cats chase mice and attempt to devour them, much like the Germans hunted down the Jews during the mass genocide. Pigs are very greedy and self centered. During the story, the Polish(Pigs) sold out the Jewish people on many occasions (Maus I p. 143). An example is when Vladek and his family were staying at Kawka’s farm. “They may come search here any minute! You’ve got to leave!” In this situation, Kawka was not telling the truth, but only trying to protect herself. Dogs chase cats, which in the book was symbolic because the Americans sympathized with the Jewish people. These are very rudimentary overviews of the animals, but they will serve for the purposes of this essay.

In the Maus series, the life of Vladek during the Holocaust was detailed. The animals were used to illustrate a point of view. Art tried to show how much the Jews were oppressed by not only making them appear to be scrawny while in camps and being chased, but by depicting them as mice. Ordinarily, an author would depict humans as humans rather than other species.

There are a few pros and cons to depicting humans as humans rather than animals. Depicting humans as humans would deter any controversial feelings about the way the Jews and other races were shown. Depicting humans as animals created controversy partly because it is somewhat demeaning to think of yourself as an animal. A con to showing humans as humans is that it would be hard to show how the Jews had to mask themselves at times (Maus I p. 136). The Jewish characters had to mask their identities while they were running from the Germans so that they would not be recognized as Jewish people. The biggest con to using humans as the characters is being able to tell races apart. In using the animals and masks, there was no mistaking what race a character was.

At the beginning of Maus II, there was a discussion about what type of animal Art’s girlfriend should have been drawn as. This discussion was between Art and his girlfriend (Maus II p. 11). The section begins with some drawings of different animals that could be Francoise. The most interesting drawing is of the frog, which could be used to symbolize the French. The argument came in because Francoise converted to Judaism. Franciouse said, “Okay! But if you’re a mouse, I ought to be a mouse too. I converted didn’t I?” Francoise made the point that she should be a mouse based on the fact that she converted and Art agrees with that argument. This practice is accepted in most temples and is valid so she rightfully should be a mouse.

Another device used in the books to portray different races was masks. The masks first appeared as Art was drawing up more information with all of the fake dead bodies around (Maus II p.41). In this scene, Art wears a mouse mask and other characters wear mouse, cat, and dog masks. The fact that Art is wearing a mask instead of being a mouse and that the scene comes after Vladek has died signifies that Art has a deep understanding of what happened to his people, but he never felt the belittlement that they did. By wearing a mask, he is trying to show that most people understand what happened, but can never quite feel the entire weight of the Holocaust. Although, during the story when he would talk to Vladek, he was a real mouse.

During periods in the present when Art would talk to Vladek, Art was portrayed as a real mouse. Portraying Jewish people as mice in the present day is somewhat demeaning, but there may be a reason for this choice. It seems as if Art is trying to portray the idea that even though he was not in the Holocaust, he can feel the weight of it because of his father. Other people his father has been involved with can as well. Art made some very controversial decisions when making the Maus series. His decisions were the best that could have been made though. The animals portrayed the people as they should have been portrayed and a very powerful statement was made. By using masks, Spiegleman was able to display the difference in mentalities of the characters as well as show when they were hiding. Also, Spiegleman kept the people as close to human as possible by letting them stand upright instead of crawling. Daniel Genest agrees with Spiegleman’s choice to keep the animals as human as possible while still portraying them as different animals. Through the use of animals, Spiegleman portrayed the Holocaust in an intelligent manner.

Word Count: 1021

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