The Shawl Quotes


“Rosa did not feel hunger; she felt light, not like someone walking but like someone in a faint, in trance, arrested in a fit, someone who is already a floating angel, alert and seeing everything, but in the air, not there, not touching the road.”


Rosa’s strength is about to expire, she is not able to feel hunger, so used she got to it. Her state is described as a blurry smoke, something over everything what is happening. She must have no more physical strength to hold on, but she still is full of inner strength, the source of which is her daughter Magda.

The shrewdness the author describes emotions and feelings strikes the reader. Ozick manages very accurately and skillfully to render the horror atmosphere of those awful times.

Rosa was ravenous, but also not; she learned from Magda how to drink the taste of a finger in one’s mouth.


Through the text we see some changes going on in Stella and Rosa. Stella seems to lose her humanity, her ability to be sympathetic. Rosa has not. She surely as well as Stella was starving and exhausted, but she does not lose her warm-heartedness. And the reason for it is her daughter. Magda is some kind of the anchor holding Rosa on the light side of life.

Maternity always changes mothers, and here is a striking example of a mother being strong for the sake of her daughter, she protects her, hides her, and gives up all her food for this little innocent child, just to give her a chance to live one more day.

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