Maus uses characters as symbols to represent various countries, the Jews were represented as rats because they were inferior and was suppose to be exterminated, Spiegelman explained that exterminated was a word used only for vermins. On the other hand, Germans were portrayed as cats, for they were superior and known to hunt, the cat and mouse metaphor is what Art Spiegelman portrays in his comic. Spiegelman attended a class with Ken Jacobs, and was inspired by old racist animated cartoons where the African-Americans were represented as a monkey, with stereotypes of them stealing chickens, water and all having fun. Here Spiegelman got the idea in making a comic with rats that deals on racism. However, soon dropped the idea and pursued in making a comic strip for Funny Animals called Maus.
Other characters that were seen was a Dog which represent America and Pig for Polish. Spiegelman way in changing his characters into animals, allows readers to distinguish between race, and at the same time feel and relate with the emotions of the characters.
"Why Mice? by Art Spiegelman." Why Mice? by Art Spiegelman. N.p., 20 Oct. 2011. Web. 30 Nov. 2015. <http://www.nybooks.com/blogs/nyrblog/2011/oct/20/why-mice/>.