Thursday, September 19, 2019
The Shawl, by Cynthia Ozick :: The Shawl Essays
The short story, Ã¢â¬Å"The Shawl,Ã¢â¬ written by Cynthia Ozick, recounts World War II by providing a very vivid image of a Concentration Camp in Nazi Germany. As one reads, he or she can see that Ozick does a wonderful job in portraying the hard times of Jews during the Holocaust. In the first paragraph, we meet the central characters, Rosa, Stella, and Magda as they attempt to endure the fears of life in the Nazi Concentration Camp. Rosa and Stella, her niece, are marching in a line to the camp with RosaÃ¢â¬â¢s daughter, Magda, wrapped and hidden in a shawl from the German soldiers. Unfortunately, at the end, Stella takes MagdaÃ¢â¬â¢s shawl, and German soldiers kill Magda by throwing her into an electric fence. Throughout the story, Cynthia Ozick has used symbolism like life, protection, and death to make the readers understand the thoughts and feelings of each character which makes the climax really important and meaningful. A symbol is a sign or an object representing something abstract or invisible and more important or complex than the object itself. The author uses symbolism in this story to make the reader visualize the setting. The title, Ã¢â¬Å"The Shawl,Ã¢â¬ itself is a symbol in this story. Throughout the story, the shawl symbolizes the source of warmth and shelter for little Magda. In the story, Magda is described as Ã¢â¬Å"a squirrel in a nest, safe, no one could ever reach her inside the little house of the shawlÃ¢â¬â¢s windingsÃ¢â¬ (Ozick 251). The shawl always behaves as an intimate friend which helps Magda in all her needs and gives support and condolence in danger situations. We also see that the shawl is the reason which helps Ã¢â¬Å"Magda to live longer than expectedÃ¢â¬ despite of her poor health disorders in the Nazi Concentration Camp (Paul 2). As a result, we see that Stella give more important to the shawl, for she knows that it will provide her with all good things in b ad conditions. For Magda, the shawl is more than just protection since she sees the shawl as her Ã¢â¬Å"baby, her pet, and her little sisterÃ¢â¬ (Ozick 252). According to Tery Griffin, a famous American editor and essayist, the shawl entertains her like a friend Ã¢â¬Å"when the wind blew its cornersÃ¢â¬ (Wilson 295). The shawl also represents sustenance, especially for Magda. Ozick describes it as Ã¢â¬Å"a magic shawl that could feed a baby for three days and three nightsÃ¢â¬ (251).