Tuesday, January 21, 2020
The Function of the Shawl in Ozicks The Shawl Essay -- Cynthia Ozick
The Function of the Shawl in OzickÃ¢â¬â¢s Ã¢â¬Å"The ShawlÃ¢â¬ Suffering becomes a way of life for Magda, Stella and Rosa, as they struggle to survive during the Holocaust. During these trying times, some cling to ideals and dreams, while others find unusual vessels of hope Ã¢â¬â like the shawl Ã¢â¬â to perdure in their austere living conditions. Although the shawl becomes a source of conflict between Magda, Stella and Rosa in this narrative, it also serves as a pivotal force and a motivational factor. In OzickÃ¢â¬â¢s Ã¢â¬Å"The ShawlÃ¢â¬ , a small wrap allows its owners to triumph over the adversities of a concentration camp, the Ã¢â¬Å"magic shawlÃ¢â¬ comforts, nourishes, protects and prolongs life. For Magda, the shawl serves as a magical place, a place of transition and latent life, it acts as a figurative surrogate mother, a pacifier, nourishment and comfort. Hidden away in her warm little cocoon, Magda is not only protected but concealed from the Nazis. When she is wrapped up in the shawl on RosaÃ¢â¬â¢s chest as an infant, Magda is mistaken for RosaÃ¢â¬â¢s breasts, she would Ã¢â¬Å"have been dead already, but had been buried deep inside the magic shawlÃ¢â¬ (paragraph 6). If it wasnÃ¢â¬â¢t for the shawlÃ¢â¬â¢s protection, Magda could not have been soothed and comforted by warmth and nourishment as she was during her short life. Not only is the shawl her cocoon, it is also a pacifier for starving MagdaÃ¢â¬â¢s screams, it nourishes her with its Ã¢â¬Å"good flavor, milk of linenÃ¢â¬ (paragraph 3) Ã¢â¬Å"for three days and three nightsÃ¢â¬ (paragraph 4). Magda sucks it and wraps herself in it to be very still (paragraph 7) and she guards her shawl Ã¢â¬Å"like a tigerÃ¢â¬ (paragraph 7). Her instinct is to protect the one thing she knows and loves, the shawl has provided Magda with the basic necessities she need... ...tic and unimaginable of circumstances. Despite the horrifying circumstances she faces, a malnourished, selfless Rosa tries her hardest to be the best mother she can be to her innocent child. Unable to continuously keep Magda safe, nourished and comforted, Rosa counts on the shawl to keep Magda out of harms way, the shawl indirectly becomes a great source of comfort for Rosa because it allows her to know that her baby is safe and sound. Stella wants this comfort, this protection, and so she steals the shawl and murders Magda. In OzickÃ¢â¬â¢s Ã¢â¬Å"The ShawlÃ¢â¬ , the shawl serves as a source of comfort, nourishment, protection, and life, for Magda, Stella and Rosa during the Holocaust. WORKS CITED Ozick, Cynthia. Ã¢â¬Å"The ShawlÃ¢â¬ . Literature: An Introduction to Reading and Writing. Ed. Edgar V. Roberts. 4th Compact Ed. Upper Saddle River: Prentice Hall, 2008. 230-233.