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The Shawl

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The Shawl is considered a modern classic - a masterpiece in two acts. The horror and desolation evoked through piercing imagery - first through the ... Show synopsis

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Overall customer rating: 5.000
rejoyce

Silence and Survival

by rejoyce on Aug 26, 2007

"The Shawl," by Cynthia Ozick, is one of the most celebrated imaginative works to emerge from the Holocaust experience. Written in a hallucinatory, concentrated prose, the story is told from the fevered perspective of a mother, Rosa, who along with her teenaged daughter Stella and the infant Magda hidden in a shawl, are being sent to a concentration camp, malnourished and cold. At times Ozick's imagery reminds one of Marc Chagall's paintings: Rosa is "a floating angel," while Magda's eyes are "horribly alive, like blue tigers." Elsewhere the narrator only alludes to the Nazi horror as in the crematoriums' "ash-stippled wind." The story's themes are survival and death, the dehumanization of deprivation and starvation, but also the muteness and voicelessness and primal instincts of the internees, the impossible choices posed by an intolerable condition.

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