Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts (BA)

Department

English

First Advisor

Stephenie Young

Abstract

As we study the descendants of Holocaust survivors and the testimonies they give, we see how the effects of the event are not stagnant but move from the witnesses to their offspring. To better understand these narratives when they are told through different mediums, they have been divided into "generations": the first, 1.5, second, third, and so on and so forth. Susan Suleiman describes the 1.5 generation as the child survivors who suffered through trauma, and later, as adults, reflect on their childhood experiences (277; Felman and Laub 1992; Langer 1991, as cited in Suleiman 291). The second-generation of survivors are the children of those who survived the Holocaust (Suleiman 277). Marianne Hirsch uses the term 'postmemory' to refer to the memory that the second-generation has of their parents' traumatic events, something that they did not experience, yet suffer the effects from (4). Since the generations have different ways of processing and remembering the event, the memory of the Holocaust is represented differently by each.

In this thesis, I analyze how generational memory of the Holocaust is shown through the artistic mediums of three graphic novel memoirs: We Are on Our Own (2006) by Miriam Katin, and Maus I: A Survivor's Tale: My Father Bleeds History (1986) and Maus II: A Survivor's Tale: And Here My Troubles Began (1991) by Art Spiegelman. Katin's novel represents the 1.5 generation and both of Spiegelman's represent the second-generation. Through this analysis I have found that although there are differences in how the generations tell their stories, they also share important similarities.

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