Compare And Contrast Cynthia Ozick And Louise Erdrich Shawl

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While Cynthia Ozick and Louise Erdrich stories follow completely different families and their experiences, readers are able to draw parallels between the authors’ usage of the shawl. Ozick’s usage of the shawl represents a maternal presence and the comfort, nourishment, and protection that a mother provides her children; while, Erdrich uses the shawl to represent protection and the spirit of a lost loved one. In both “The Shawl” by Ozick, and “The Shawl” by Erdrich, the shawl represents the need for protection and comfort and the spirit of someone that is
Cynthia Ozick’s story, “The Shawl”, follows the lives of three Jewish women who were victims of the Holocaust. Magda, the youngest of the three at only fifteen months old, is constantly wrapped in a shawl. The shawl was a
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Along with the members of the family, the shawl changes throughout the story. At the beginning, the shawl represents a sense of protection, support, and comfort for a young girl whose family’s difficulties cause her to take on more maternal responsibilities “soon, she couldn’t rise to cook or keep the cabin neat, and it was too much for the girl, who curled up each night exhausted in her red-and-brown plaid shawl, and slept and slept” (Erdrich 1409). However, after her death, the shawl represented the girl’s spirit and was a constant reminder of her tragic death. Her brother, who had possession of the shawl, channeled his anger of his sister’s death through the shawl and forced his family to fear him “When I was little, my own father terrified us with his drinking” (Erdrich 1411). It wasn’t until one of his sons stood up to him to protect the other children that the narrator learned of his family history. Because they were Native American, it was against their culture to keep the possessions of the dead, so the son recommended that they burn the shawl to “Send it off to cloak her spirit” (Erdrich

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