Analysis Of The Shawl By Cynthia Ozick

1023 Words 4 Pages
“I am against wars.” No one has to agree with this statement; it 's a personal/ point of view because war harms more than it helps a country. War also affects a person’s identity and morals. In addition, so many people suffer the consequences after the war is over. War can damage one’s life because it not only affects them physically but also psychologically. In war people are confronted with physical harm, violence, danger, exploitation, fear and loss. Wars not only harm individuals, but they also harm the whole family. Adults are busy surviving during a war, therefore, parents have little time for their own children. “The Shawl,” is a story written by Cynthia Ozick about the war. The story is about a Jewish mother, Rosa, who lost her infant, …show more content…
This explains that wars can affect any age and any gender. Also she explains how a war can change a person 's morals, through the use of Rosa’s older daughter who only cares about herself and wishes that her baby sister would die in order for her to survive. Two experiments were done to show why soldiers take orders and kill innocent people like the baby girl, Magda. The first is a prison experiment by Philip G. Zimbardo, which explained how power can be misused when given to anyone. Also the study shows that being controlled is the main reason behind the psychological problems people face after coming back from the war. Second was the “Behavior Study of Obedience” done by Stanley Milgram. He was investigating whether the Germans were obedient to authority figures to explain what was behind the Nazi’s killings in World War II. This study showed that people can easily be influenced to hurt others in order to obey the rules. Both experiments show a change in morals and the physical and psychological pain people face under the pressure of receiving orders from people of higher positions during …show more content…
She wanted her baby sister to die so that she can take the shawl in order to survive: “Sometimes Stella carried Magda. But she was jealous of Magda...Stella wanted to be wrapped in a shawl, hidden away, asleep, rocked by the march, a baby, a round infant in arms” (Ozick 1). Stella was jealous of her baby sister because she was wrapped in a shawl, while Stella had to deal with the coldness. The shawl was what kept Magda alive; she relied on it for everything, and it even protected her and kept her alive. Here the shawl represents protection and faith. When the shawl is lost, faith will also be lost and they will become hopeless until they die. Ozick explains the loss of morals like Stella, who wanted her baby sister to die in order to take the shawl from her. Morals can be lost when it comes to power and taking control. When people have power they become animalistic and all they care about is themselves like Stella. Stella’s morals changed due to the hardships of the war; she became selfish and only cares about surviving. In the Zimbardo experiment the guards were very similar to Stella: “Some of the bad guards were so brutal that,... kept in a solitary confinement for more than an hour. This was a small closet 2 feet by 2 feet. One of the guards kept a prisoner there 3 hours without eating and was going to keep him overnight and none of the guards would intervene” (Zimbardo

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