Brief Analysis of "The Shawl"

Essay by HipocratesUniversity, Bachelor'sA+, October 2004

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"The Shawl" by Cynthia Ozick goes beyond just a shawl or an infant playing with it. The shawl is a fiber that holds them all together, happy to a certain extent, and a security blanket. It creates a fabricated sense of security, a friend. This relates to me in a small way by the sense of security one obtained by the blanket.

This shawl did wonders to a certain point for the three that were impoverished and imprisoned in the camp. Jealousy did erect its arms and grab Stella down under because of this shawl. The line "Stella wanted to be wrapped in a shawl, hidden away, asleep, rocked by the march, a baby, a round infant in arms." (6) explains how she was bitter.

Stella continues to be bitter and jealous say the lines "Rosa gave almost all her food to Magda, Stella gave nothing. /Then Stella took the shawl away and made Magda die."

On another note, the blanket provided security. It prevented Magda from being active enough to get them caught with the child. Magda found a certain security in the blanket. It was her friend, mate, and toy. When there was no more milk to suck out of the breast, which fell victim to dry spell, a drought of sorts, Magda sucked on the shawl, which provided tranquility for the child. This shawl kept Magda alive for some reason, I do not understand this literature fully neither do I like it. It kept the child alive for some reason even when she had not eaten. Magda stayed preoccupied by this "magic" shawl. She overcame extreme conditions by bypassing it in extraordinary ways with this shawl.

The characters seem to hide behind this blanket. They mask the big problems at hand with the shawl.