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Tiffany LeMay
"The Shawl"
Fri Oct 21, 2011 3:44pm
208.180.172.185

Personally I thought that the short story “The Shawl” was going to melt my heart extremely but that’s not the effect I ended up getting. The first time that I read it, it was very difficult to understand and I couldn’t really figure out who was who. I usually like to try and imagine what the characters look like and also get a feel for their personalities. I felt as though it went back and forth making it difficult to differentiate between the three.
Since I didn’t understand it the first time I read, I went ahead and read a summary. After reading a summary and analysis, that is when I put all the pieces together and really understood. I started to feel the hurt pain and struggle of the three Jews. I felt so bad for them. I liked the fact that not only did the shawl represent the fact that the baby was hidden but also a security blanket. It kept the girls together. It kept the child alive even when she had not eaten and it was a sense of comfort for Stella. It was a metaphor for many different things and I definitely understood that the second time around.
I respected Rosa for her strength in being a mother, caregiver and provider. She would rather give to Stella and Magda then take for herself. She had to hide her own baby for the fear of losing her life and the babies. If she would have stepped out of line, they might have shot her and she also feared if she did give the baby away that the random person would not take her and they would ultimately get shot anyway. The crazy part about it was she looked just like the “Aryan” race that the Nazis wanted to keep around but it didn’t matter she was still a baby Jew.
I thought that Stella was indeed very selfish but at the same time definitely acted her age. I can’t even begin to imagine my actions in a situation like that especially at that age. What I did NOT understand was how she could take the shawl from the baby just to satisfy herself. She was cold and in the end that didn’t matter.
I think that the author did a great job of portraying their story to the reader. It definitely puts things in perspective and makes you feel their pain for the moments that you are reading the story.

  • 10/21 Discussion - Andy Bates, Thu Oct 20 6:27pm
    What is your reaction to the story "The Shawl"? What did you like or dislike? How well do you think it captured the situation the family was in?
    • Discussion Board 10/21 - Bethany Alder, Fri Oct 21 4:36pm
      My reaction was that I started crying four paragraphs into it. Cynthia Ozick, the author, certainly has the gift of evoking strong emotion in her readers. I find it really difficult to use the words... more
      • Re: Discussion Board 10/21 - Anonymous, Tue Jan 8 9:29pm
        "Magda lived to walk" portrays hopelessness because after she walked, she would die.
    • Discussion 10/21 - Kurt McPherson, Fri Oct 21 4:11pm
      I was kind of shocked by the whole story. The Shawl is all about two jewish girls carrying a german baby in a shawl as they are escorted to a concentration camp. The star that is sewn on their... more
    • 10/21 - Taylor Stevenson, Fri Oct 21 4:02pm
      My reaction to “The Shawl” was that of sadness. The details were so specific that you could picture nearly everything Ozick describes in your mind. The line that caught my attention was about the... more
    • 10/21 Discussion - Nam Thai, Fri Oct 21 3:45pm
      I thought that the story “The Shawl” was very interesting. I liked the story for a couple reasons. I enjoyed this story because I have always had a liking for holocaust stories, such as “Night” and... more
    • "The Shawl" - Tiffany LeMay, Fri Oct 21 3:44pm
    • Re: 10/21 Discussion - casey olevsky, Fri Oct 21 3:30pm
      My reaction to the story “The Shawl” was very negative. I thought the content of the story was very weird and left me somewhat confused. I thought it was an interesting topic and a very original... more
    • 10/21 Discussion - Brandan Murrell, Fri Oct 21 3:26pm
      The story “The Shawl” was extremely depressing to say the least. I can’t say that I liked the story just because of the topic and what happened in the story but I loved the way the author, Cynthia... more
    • 10/21 Discussion - Kelly Phillips, Fri Oct 21 3:19pm
      "The Shawl" was a very depressing yet realistic tale of the conditions which victims of the Holocaust lived in back in the earlier 1900s. I have always found the Holocaust to be one of the most... more
    • discussion 10/21 - kai chatman, Fri Oct 21 3:14pm
      The Shawl” was a very sad story. Although I knew what the ending would be, I was very intrigued while reading it. I think the author did a very good jobi n showing what kind of situation they were... more
    • 10/21 Discussion - Bowin Yem, Fri Oct 21 3:14pm
      I liked the Shawl because it was deep and thought provoking to the point that I had to read it twice to get a firm grasp of it. It was interesting how Magda had blond hair and blue eyes, the looks of ... more
    • Re: 10/21 Discussion - Jacob Evans, Fri Oct 21 3:05pm
      The Shawl Rosa, her infant daughter Magda, and her fourteen year old niece Stella are Polish Jews interned in a concentration camp -- "a place without pity" during World War II. Miraculously the... more
    • Discussion 10/21 - Katherine Faucette, Fri Oct 21 2:44pm
      I thought that “The Shawl” by Cynthia Ozick was a very emotional story. It was very, very sad yet I liked it. I felt so sorry for the family in the story. I can’t imagine the fear and pain that the... more
    • 10/21 Discussion - Melissa Miller, Fri Oct 21 2:29pm
      When I think of the word “shawl” I think of the piece of cloth which is not cut clean and is made for a woman to carry around her shoulder for warmth [and sometimes for fashion]. This story did not... more
    • 10/21 discussion :) - Amanda Roy, Fri Oct 21 2:07pm
      Let me start out with saying wow…that was the saddest story I have ever read in my entire life. I don’t even know how to react to it. From the details in the story, one could gather that this took... more
    • 10/21 Discussion - Ashten Bergstedt, Fri Oct 21 1:27pm
      The Shawl by Cynthia Ozick was a very powerful story. My reaction was one of deep sadness because the story is so lifelike. Just the thought of someone going through the pain of what the protagonists ... more
    • Online discussion 10-21 - Bea Breeden, Fri Oct 21 12:47pm
      This story was indeed very, very sad. I liked reading it but it was upsetting to me to see what they went through. However, the truth is that the holocaust was not a very happy time. That is the one... more
    • Re: 10/21 Discussion - Jennifer Emrey, Fri Oct 21 12:01pm
      Although this story was really sad and depressing, I still liked reading it. The author does a very good job at describing everything that is happening and it really painted a good picture of what... more
    • Oct. 21,2011 - Rosalyn Swain, Fri Oct 21 11:57am
      My reaction to the story was just shock. I was appalled by the fact that people actually went through this. This mother and her two daughter one which is 14 and who is jealous of the infant because... more
    • 10/21 Discussion - Haley Currie, Fri Oct 21 11:45am
      I did not like the story “The Shawl”. It was written well, however I did not like the storyline at all. It was too depressing and sad. This story didn’t have any positivity or uplifting moments... more
    • 10/21 Discussion - Heather Burney, Fri Oct 21 11:15am
      My reaction to “The Shawl” was that it was tremendously sad but also tremendously good. I really loved this story. I loved the descriptions and the way the author seemed to paint an extremely graphic ... more
    • 10/21 Discussion - Luke Fiorini, Fri Oct 21 10:24am
      The story "The shawl" was one of the saddest stories that I have ever read. I could not imagine being in this situation, let alone having to take care of a baby when you don’t even have enough food... more
    • 10/21 Discussion - Steven Byrd, Fri Oct 21 10:08am
      English 1000 10/21 Discussion After reading “The Shawl”, I was really unsure of how to feel. My reaction to the story was a sense of confusion, pain, sympathy, and shock. There were a variety of... more
    • 10/21 Discussion - Travis Hayes, Fri Oct 21 9:16am
      In the story the Shawl I liked it because it was a non-fiction story informing the audience of the historical time of the holocaust. It tells about a mother, Rosa, her newborn child, Magda and Rosa’s ... more
    • 10/21 Discussion - Dakota Bunn, Fri Oct 21 9:05am
      The story Shawl written by Cynthia Ozick was not one I liked. No story or movie or anything can make me cry or feel bad, I grew up where we had to read about the Holocaust and many events of slaves... more
    • Discussion 10/21 - Logan Justice, Fri Oct 21 9:02am
      My initial reaction to the story “The Shawl” was that it was a very depressing story. The fact that a child, or anyone for that matter, had to suffer like that is just absolutely terrible and... more
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