Take a story's temperature by studying its tone. Is it hopeful? Cynical? Snarky? Playful?
Reflective, Melancholic, Anguished
The tone varies as the voice shifts between Vladek and Art, but in general, the tone fits the somber themes of the book. Art’s reflections on his relationship with his father and on the crafting of Maus set the reader up for a more self-conscious reading of the book. Both Art and Vladek veer between melancholy and anguish as the weight of the past – its memories, traumas, losses – threatens at times to overwhelm their lives in the present.