Cynthia Ozick's, "The Shawl", is a puzzling novella, which illustrates how much devastation the Holocaust has caused many people. It is a terrifying event that can compare to no other. There is always an experience in which we all carry with us and never let go of. The experiences we encounter grow to be a part of us and can many times form who we become. Unfortunately, the Holocaust is an experience that most people can never seem to move past, some suffering more than others. This terrifying occurrence has ruined lives, as it leads to a life full of pain and misery for many. "The Shawl" depicts a woman who experiences the Holocaust with her niece, Stella, and her baby daughter, Magda. Ultimately, she lives her life alone in an old run down apartment in Florida. People who are also survivors of the Holocaust, having no place else to go, surround her. The Holocaust affects her so much that she cannot move forward and live a happy life. "The Shawl" by Cynthia Ozick, is a story about a woman named Rosa, who is traumatized by her experience in the Holocaust and is unable to move on with her life. .
During the Holocaust, Rosa watched the death of her own daughter, Magda, which is an experience that she can never move past. We can all agree that watching the death of your own child can ruin your life forever. "Magda's feathered round head and her pencil legs and balloonish belly and zigzag arms splashed against the fence. . . .," as Rosa watched in terror (10). Rosa tries hiding Magda for as long as she could, but soon enough the Nazi's find her. She is unable to save her daughter, for her own life will be in danger if she tries. Instead, she has no choice but to walk away, keeping her angry thoughts to herself. As a result of Rosa watching the death of her daughter, she becomes weak, not just at that moment, but for the rest of her life. Before Magda gets killed, Rosa is as strong as can be, as she fights the circumstances to keep Magda and herself alive.