In the very beginning of the story we start to learn of the shawl’s importance to a small family. We see Rosa carrying her baby, Magda, wrapped in the shawl. Rosa and her niece Stella are walking on the road together. They are so very, very cold, “the coldness of hell”. (Ozick 1) Magda’s baby, Rosa is wrapped up snugly in the shawl while she suckles at her mother’s breast. (Ozick 3-8) In this we see how the shawl is critical for Magda’s warmth.
Soon, Orick describes the hunger and how Rosa is starving and has no milk for the baby. We see that the baby is starving. Orick describes the baby physically as being “fifteen months old and having spindly legs that could not hold up her fat belly that was fat wi...
... middle of paper ...
...fence and stands dumbstruck looking at her baby daughter’s body. She stands watching trying to decide whether to go to her or stay where she is in safety. She decides to stay where she is and she takes a corner of the shawl into her own mouth and stuffs it in as far as she can. Once again the shawl is there for protection from screaming, and for comfort in her loss.
Throughout the story we saw the importance of the shawl and the different needs that it met. We saw it used for warmth, curbing hunger and the need to suck, entertainment, love, comfort, and protection. Because of the circumstances of Magda’s life and her lack of worldly possessions and emotional fulfillment, the shawl was indeed an item that Magda could not live without!
Ozick, Cynthia. Ms Brogan, English at Harry Truman High School. Ed. Brogan. 22 August 2009.
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