He instituted the use of the. She fears that someone, perhaps Stella, will kill Magda to eat her, or that she will be discovered somehow. Magda’s cinnamon and almond breath has permeated her shawl, which now becomes synonymous with her spirit. Magda has Rosa’s milk for a time; Stella does not.

Characters Rosa’s one focus in “The Shawl” is how to keep her infant daughter Magda alive for as long as possible, even though she knows the child is doomed to die. Readers know from the beginning of the story that Magda is constantly on the edge of death. But she cannot save Magda. At this point, it is appropriate to ask whether this shawl is truly a transitional object for Magda or instead an infantile fetish. . In a little over a thousand words the narrator succinctly reports the events of several months. The Shawl By Louise Erdrich.

Shivering in “The Shawl”: Reader Response Criticism. Louise Erdrich (b. The

Cynthia Ozick’s “The Shawl” (1980) is a Holocaust story about a mother struggling heroically but in vain to save her baby in a death camp.

You can look at the plot: the events that happen and the order in which they occur.

Ozick’s short sentences and concise syntax move quickly and efficiently forward to tell the story with a minimum of rhetoric.

One of the major historical events of Ozick’s lifetime was the Great Depression—the period of economic crisis and unemployment that began in the United States in October, 1929, and continued through most of the 1930s. Rosa’s daughter, Magda, is a nursing infant hidden in her mother’s shawl at the beginning of the story, and a fifteen-month-old child when she is killed.

Rosa’s mother-love forces her to give to Magda beyond her physical and emotional capabilities.

. OVERVIEWS AND GENERAL STUDIES "The Shawl" is about the Holocaust, the systematic slaughter of some six million Jews, as well as at least that many gypsies, homosexuals, and other "undesirables" by the Nazis during World War II.

The fetish “grows out of early inadequate object relations and, through its crystallization, tends to constrict their further development.” It has some similarities to “the fetish in adult perversion.” Considering the trauma that Magda has suffered—a She does not laugh, cry, suck. Critical Overview Rosa and Magda take center stage, the shawl winding around mother and child like an umbilical cord. and imagery: as Rosa’s life in the camp was hell, her life thirty years later is a different form of hell, and the shawl that sheltered Magda appears again in the latter story. Though it plays a lesser role in “Rosa,” the shawl as a symbol is, perhaps, the most-discussed aspect of “The Shawl.”. Then she begins to walk and the time of her death seems to move closer: “When Magda began to walk, Rosa knew that Magda was going to die very soon.” Again, time passes and Magda does not die. The object, Stella, a teenager, “in a stage between childhood and adulthood” [according to Margot Martin, in RE: Artes Liberales, Spring-Fall, 1989], longs to revert to infancy, symbolized by her desire to be wrapped in and mothered by the shawl that protects Magda. teetering on the tips of her fingernails.” She is in a trance-like state, a state in which one’s intellect is suspended and one’s instincts take over. narrator moves into the mind of Rosa and remains there until the end of the story. In addition to his work as a pharmacist, William was a Jewish scholar.

In the following excerpt, he argues that Ozick’s use of symbolism in “The Shawl” contributes to the story’s theme of Jewish endurance in the face of horrendous suffering, [This text has been suppressed due to author restrictions]. She watched like a tiger. Ozick manages to avoid the common pitfalls of Holocaust fiction: on the one hand, she does not sentimentalize, but on the other, she does not numb the reader with a succession of horrifying events.

How they walked on the roads together, Rosa with Magda curled up between sore breasts.

Stella’s most important action is to cause Magda’s death by taking the child’s shawl for herself. Rosa also thinks that the starving Stella gazes at Magda as if she wishes to eat the child.

Greenacre mentions an instance of infantile fetishism which strongly resembles Magda’s behavior, in which a blanket was “of great magical effectiveness in quieting severe disturbances of infantile separation anxiety and even of physical pain.” When head lice and body lice bite Magda and “crazed her so that she became as wild as one of the big rats that plundered the barracks .

Rosa is outside and sees Magda toddling into the sunlight, howling for the lost shawl, screaming “Maaaa—.” It is the first sound she has made since Rosa’s milk dried up, and the only word she speaks in the story. She was sure that Stella was waiting for Magda to die so she could put her teeth into the little thighs. Again, states Gordon, Ozick has denied that this was her intention.

To put it another way, Rosa is attempting to reincorporate Magda in order to mourn her.

But Rosa hears, “Let us devour her.”.

The story was reprinted in Cynthia Ozick’s 1989 collection, The Shawl, where it was paired with “Rosa,” a story that picks up the tale of the same characters some thirty years later.

Stella, caring mostly about her own survival, gives no food to Magda. Ozick never explains the world we enter with her.

“The Shawl” is often discussed in tandem with “Rosa,” its sister story, which picks up on the stories of Rosa and Stella some thirty years later.

This slender volume consists of two award-winning short stories, both originally published in The New Yorker.In The Shawl (1980), Rosa Lublin is reduced to having her baby, Magda, suck on a shawl, in order to keep her quite enough to escape the notice of concentration camp guards. Again, there are choices.

Hitler’s persecution of the Jews had begun. The fetish begins “at about the time that the transitional object may be adopted by infants most of whom seem less disturbed.

In the camp, she longs for food, sometimes causing Rosa to think that she is “waiting for Magda to die so she could put her teeth into the little thighs.” She takes the only bit of nurturing she can find: warmth from Magda’s shawl. Ozick takes the reader into the minds of fictional characters, but these fictional characters walk in shoes we can easily imagine to have been inhabited by Jews living in Europe during Nazi rule. Stella’s resentment ultimately lead to Magda’s death when Stella steals the shawl from the baby. I want to consider the central symbol of the story, the shawl in which Magda is wrapped, which I believe functions in a way similar to what D. W. Winnicott would call a “transitional object” [Playing and Reality, 1971]. Rosa seems obsessed by the idea that “someone, not even Stella, would steal Magda to eat her.” “Aryan,” Stella says. As Rosa struggles over what to do about Magda, Stella longs to be Magda: a baby rocked and sleeping in her mother’s arms.

Throughout the 1950s, Ozick worked as an advertising copywriter for Filene’s Department Store.

The shawl is also one of the most widely discussed parts of the story. This allows Ozick to demonstrate the extent to which human beings are affected by, even formed by, the time and place in which they live. Magda does not share Rosa’s “bleak complexion” but instead has “eyes blue as air,” and “smooth feathers of hair nearly as yellow as the Star sewn on to Rosa’s coat” (1). REPRESENTATIVE WORKS Magda is the center of Rosa’s existence: Rosa gives Magda most of her own food and focuses much of her energy on worrying about what might happen to Magda and on keeping the child alive.

Her death moves even closer: “Rosa saw that today Magda was going to die.” Finally, Magda screams and the time of her death is present: Rosa “saw that Magda was going to die.” The repetition causes an echo in the reader’s mind: Magda is going to die, Magda is going to die. Although Rosa and Magda are also introduced in this paragraph, each reference to the mother and child is countered with comments on Stella’s character.

Of the three women, Magda is the only one who experiences any true joy in the story, and she is robbed of it by the end. Perhaps the shawl can be seen as an object used to show us how strong the human will to survive is. . 1975 To evoke is to do what almost anyone who has taken any writing class has been told: to show rather than tell. She cannot scream or do anything else that would indicate that Magda was her child. An important characteristic of this style is how much information Ozick trusts the reader to fill in for him or herself.

There was not enough milk; sometimes Magda sucked air; then she screamed.

The Shawl (1989). When Magda is killed, readers witness the scene from the position of a mother watching as her daughter is murdered. The narrator notes that Rosa has a yellow star sewn into her coat, and Magda has blue eyes and yellow hair, like one of “them.” Soon it is clear that Rosa and Stella are Jewish women who are being marched to a concentration camp. . But one sunny afternoon, Stella appropriates the shawl for herself and goes to sleep beneath it in the barracks. “Destructive Intimacy: The Shoah Between Mother and Daughter in Fictions by Cynthia Ozick, Norma Rosen and Rebecca Goldstein,” in Studies in American Jewish Literature, Vol.

She knows Magda will not live, yet she protects her with, “Ozick strongly implies that the camps, designed to turn Jews into matter and then to destroy that matter, although successful to an awesome and staggering degree, were not able to achieve complete domination of the Jewish soul.”. Rosa’s mental disconnect from her surroundings create a schism between her and Stella, and the reader feels the strife between them acted out on Magda.

Later, Rosa fears that someone in the camp will kill Magda for the same reason.

As she watches her baby murdered, there is nothing further Rosa can do without endangering her own life. Yet her entire youth was spent in a world where Jews were persecuted, then murdered, in Nazi-dominated countries, and refused sanctuary in most other countries, including her own United States. Klingenstein, Suzanne. Ravenous, tumor-kneed, chicken-elbowed Stella. She says she is “swallowing” the wolf’s screech, but she also seems to be trying to ingest the shawl, tasting her daughter’s saliva, drinking it dry. Magda, an infant, will be killed if she is discovered, so Rosa considers giving Magda to someone by the side of the road.