Try to imagine living in the 1930's as a Jew. As we all know, the Holocaust was a horrible and tragic event that has had a major impact on the world. It's hard to believe that innocent people's lives were taken in this inhumane act of violence. How does one talk about such traumatic events? Authors uses a variety of techniques to talk about the unspeakable. One of these techniques is symbolism.
Symbolism can be used to represent something that holds an important meaning, which in this case, helps talk about the unspeakable. For example, in the document "Someone" the author, Phil Chernofsky, used the word "Jew" in a very powerful way. In the excerpt of the document the word was written over and over again a total of 2,400 times. But in the full novel, the word was written out a total of 6,000,00 times. At first glance, the number of times it was written doesn't seem that important, but in reality it does. It represents the number of jews killed during the Holocaust. It isn't so meaningless now is it. Another example of symbolism is in the graphic novel "Maus" by Art Spiegelman. In the story, he tells us his father's story about how he survived the Holocaust. But what makes it show symbolism is the fact of using animals instead of actual people. The Jews were represented as mice, and the Germans were represented with cats. In the excerpt we were given of the story, Vladek Spiegelman, the author's father, was talking about a man who started jumping and rolling around, and then just laid still. In this panel we are left to assume the man was shot, and ended up dying from his wound. Vladek tells us in the following panel that it reminded him of his neighbor's dog who was shot because it "got mad and was biting." The last bit of text in the final panel of the page stated: "And now I thought: 'How amazing it is that a human being reacts the same like this neighbor's dog.'" What this evidence shows is how simple things such as words, pictures, or simple memories can symbolize more than what it looks like at first glance.
Even though authors use multiple techniques to speak of such horrific events, such as symbolism, it still doesn't give the unspeakable justice. Some random person off the street will never be able to fully understand the terror and fear from this period in time, compared to someone who actually lived through it. No one ever will, no matter how many stories, how many photographs or illustrations, it will never fully capture the true terror the Jews faced during the period of the Holocaust.
*Author's note* This was an essay I did for my English class, and I feel like I lack a bit in this category of English, so I uploaded this to gather some suggestions and some constructive criticism. Oh and another thing, I'm uploading this from my phone, so if the format is a bit wonky, that is why ^-^;. I'm sorry about that, I'm currently on a trip, and I don't have any access to a computer nor a laptop, and I felt like posting this right now instead of later so yeah, my apologies. Well anyways, I hope you guys enjoyed my essay :)