“Slavery and racism” is a huge topic; therefore, a lot of things can be discussed. A student is more likely to express his point of view on the question what came first: slavery or racism. Some think that slavery caused racism, since slavery is deeply rooted in human mentality. Different nations enslaved each to have cheap workforce or for the psychological need to dominate and control other, as they thought, inferior nations, without the racial implications. Furthermore, the whites were enslaved as well as blacks, and this is an undeniable fact. Others support the opposite idea that racial bias caused slavery since it started even before the black trade appeared in the New World. Moreover, one can include facts from the latest researches on slavery. For example, Henry Louis Gates, the black scholar from Harvard University, discovered that free blacks came to Florida one hundred years before the official date of slavery beginning in 1619 in America, and that blacks were actually aware of Christianity before they were enslaved. One more discouraging fact was recently revealed: in the antebellum period, over 4 thousand black families have owned slaves!
This distance from the Holocaust is something that Art, in Maus, is totally aware of. It’s his starting point, as it is for many of his readers. How to bridge that distance, how to make a connection to his father’s experience in the Holocaust, how to represent his father’s experience as authentically and faithfully as possible – these are his constant preoccupations. Maus doesn’t give us an epic Hollywood tale, with forces of Good and Evil, heroes and villains. Maus puts us squarely in the real world, in the lives of ordinary people trying to deal with extraordinary, horrible, terrifying, but very real circumstances.