Many traditional accounts of the Holocaust divide individuals into simple categories of perpetrators, victims and bystanders. In Maus I, do these categories exist or does he break down these categories and create a “grey zone,” in which the lines between perpetrators, victims and bystanders become fluid?
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I think the novel portrays each of these groups as they were. There is a grey area, but it's not distinct; it overlaps with the others, and it only pertains to the bystanders. The perpetrators were exactly that; the victims were marked, and some were helped by the bystanders. Some bystanders stepped up, and thus became victims. Other bystanders closed their eyes and tried to pretend that reality was illusion, and other bystanders stepped up, only to step right back down. It is the epitome of the vicious circle....... so I guess in that sense you have fluidity.