How would Maus have been different if Spiegelman had used human figures instead of animals?

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That's a good question. I don't think the story would have been as effective. The animals are all symbols with embedded meanings. The Nazis are cats, poles are pigs, Americans are dogs and of course Jews are mice. The mice represent exactly what Hitler wanted them to be seen as, vermin. The cats stalk the vermin and there you have the ethnic cleansing. The symbols, however, become more effective as we get to know the characters. Vladek, Anna, Art ...all become the soul of the story (we get to know them so well) and we cease to see them as mice anymore even though the pictures are of mice. I'ts pretty cool.