The Shawl Themes

The Shawl Themes

Maternity

The theme of maternity is one of the most popular in literature for its importance and tenderness, but in The Shawl it acquires also deep sorrow. Young mother is kept in one of the Nazi concentration camps with little daughter on her hands. Form the context it is clear that the baby’s father is Nazi, which assumes that she must have been conceived against mother’s will. Even though Magda, a girl, becomes very important to Rosa as she gave all her food, her love to this innocent child. We see that Rosa hopes her daughter would live, as when they pass some villages she bears a hope to give her up to some of the women standing by road. Rosa has no hatred or wrath in her heart, she is sad, she is deeply sad because at the bottom of her heart she knows that there is nothing but death waiting for her and her daughter.

The author has managed to touch readers’ soul by masterfully revealing all the horror of the event. It is impossible even to imagine what Rosa had had endured. Seeing one’s child being killed makes heart shiver and eye tear.

Horror

Cruel conditions Jewish were forced to in concentration camps show inhuman attitude to them of Nazis. They were treated even worse than animals. Starving, sick, cold Jewish lived waiting for death. No sympathy, no mercy, no pity. Nazis proved to be fierce and even savage, they did not respect lives of others. In such circumstances some people, shown on the example of Stella, tend to lose their humanity and let envy and hatred seize their hearts. And who could blame them, it is difficult to imagine what these poor must have experienced and endured.

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