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July 30, 2014

Homework Help: english

Posted by k on Wednesday, May 7, 2008 at 11:15am.

i need to know if my paper is in order and is grammatically correct.

Symbolism, 1the use of symbols to invest things with a representative meaning or to represent something abstract by something concrete, is used in novels and stories by authors worldwide. Why do authors choose symbolism? Symbolism is a unique style of literature that allows authors to express themselves indirectly on delicate or controversial matters through the use of symbols. These symbols can range from a variety of things and have various meanings. But one unique author, Cynthia Ozick, took symbolism to another level in her short story “The Shawl”. She uses, as you already guessed by the title, a shawl, to symbolize life and death. But the unique part is that the symbolism of the shawl changes with each character and has an effect on the other characters. The characters used are Magda, Stella, and Rosa.

The first character Ozick uses to convey the symbolization of the shawl is Magda. Magda is a small infant with “eyes blue as air” and “smooth feathers of hair nearly as yellow as the Star sewn into Rosa’s coat.” With Magda the shawl symbolizes life. We can see this in this excerpt. “It was a magic shawl, it could nourish an infant for three days and three nights. Magda did not die, she stayed alive, although very quiet.” Ozick uses the shawl as a kind of shield to keep Magda alive longer then what either Rosa or Stella expected. However the shawl did not only keep Magda alive it also affected Stella by making her jealous. “Sometimes Stella carried Magda. But she was jealous of Magda. A thin girl of fourteen, too small, with thin breast of her own, Stella wanted to be wrapped in the shawl, hidden away, asleep, rocked by the march, a baby, a round infant in arms. ” This affected Stella to a point where she took the shawl away from Magda, virtually causing Magda to die.

The next character Ozick uses to convey the symbolism of the shawl is Stella. Stella is a thin, small fourteen year old who is jealous of Magda. Her jealousness, caused by the wanting of the shawl from Magda, causes her to steal the shawl. Although intended for warmth, the shawl, in all, made Stella cold-hearted. “Then Stella took the shawl away and made Magda die. Afterward Stella said: “I was cold.” The cold went into her heart: Rosa saw that Stella’s heart was cold”. In reference to Stella’s coldness, the first sentence in the first paragraph is a sort of foreshadow to this event. When the shawl is with Stella it affects Rosa by making her Angry. It also affects Magda by bringer her out into the open.

The third and final character Ozick uses to convey the symbolization of the shawl is Rosa. Rosa is the mother of Stella and Magda and is as light as “air”. In the hands of Rosa the shawl symbolizes comfort. “So she took Magda’s shawl and she filled her own mouth with it, stuffed it in and stuffed it in, until she was swallowing up the wolf’s screech and tasting the cinnamon and almond depth of Magda’s saliva; and Rosa drank Magda’s shawl until it was dried.” Rosa used the shawl to keep from screaming out in her pain after seeing Magda killed by the Nazi soldier. Because Rosa is the last character mentioned in the story, when she has the shawl it doesn’t affect any other character.

In conclusion, Ozick’s “The Shawl” is a very deep and saddening story. Through the use of symbolization Ozick not only affects the character that has the shawl but also the other characters in the story. Without the symbolic meanings the shawl would mean nothing. For example, Magda would have just been a baby wrapped in a blanket. But Ozick gave the shawl a meaning, a life preserver. Now the scene is completely different. Magda is now a baby wrapped in a shawl only able to survive by the protection of the shawl. And it now affects the character Stella by making her jealous of Magda. With the symbolic meanings of the shawl the story now vivid and has a clearer meaning.

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