Study Guide

Maus: A Survivor's Tale Tough-o-Meter

By Art Spiegelman


(2) Sea Level

Maus is very readable to begin with, but as a graphic novel, it also has images that help the readers visualize the story. It’s a 2 instead of a 1 on the Tough-o-Meter because of its serious and troubling content. The story relates numerous instances of brutality: men and women are hanged, shot, beaten, and gassed; children are thrown against walls or poisoned; corpses litter the scene. Part of the genius of Maus is that it is able to communicate this horror in a visual, graphic form which does not sensationalize the violence in the way a Hollywood movie might.