Tag Archives: “The Shawl” — Ozick


noun, plural larynges

[luhrin-jeez] (Show IPA), larynxes.

1.Anatomy. a muscular and cartilaginous structure lined with mucous membrane at the upper part of the trachea in humans, in which the vocal cordsare located.

  1. a similar vocal organ in other mammals.
  2. a corresponding structure in certain lower animals.

“Rosa believed that something had gone wrong with her vocal cords, with her windpipe, with the cave of her larynx: Magda was defective, without a voice; perhaps she was deaf; there might be something amiss with her intelligence; Magda was dumb.

The Shawl by Cynthia Ozick (Paragraph 8)


1.pertaining to or marked by fever; feverish.
“Rosa saw that today Magda, deserted, was going to die, and at the same time a fearful joy ran in Rosa’s two palms, her fingers were on fire, she was astonished, febrile: Magda, in the sunlight, swaying on her pencil legs, was howling.
The Shawl by Cynthia Ozick (Paragraph 8)


1.extremely hungry; famished; voracious:feeling ravenous after a hard day’s work.
2.extremely rapacious:a ravenous jungle beast.
3.intensely eager for gratification or satisfaction.
“There was not enough milk; sometimes Magda sucked air; then she screamed. Stella was ravenous. Her knees where tumors on sticks, her elbow chicken bones.”
The Shawl by Cynthia Ozick (First Paragraph)


Lamenting noun \lə-ˈment\

a  : an expression of sorrow; especially : a song or poem that expresses sorrow for someone who has died or something that is gone
The farther she was from the fence, the more clearly the voices crowded at her. The lamenting voices strummed so convincingly, so passionately, it was impossible to suspect them of being phantoms. The voices told her to h9ld up the shawl, high; the voices told her to shake it, to whip with it, to unfurl it like a flag. Rosa lifted, shook, whipped, unfurled.
The Shawl paragraph 15
The voices were an expression of sorrow. They were singing in the sorrow of Rosa who is the only one that heard them.


Clamor noun \ˈkla-mər\

a : a loud continuous noise (such as the noise made when many people are talking or shouting)

Even when the lice, head lice and body lice, crazed her so that she became as wild as one of the big rats that plundered the barracks at daybreak looking for carrion, she rubbed and scratched and kicked and bit and rolled without a whimper. But now Magda’s mouth was spilling a long viscous rope of clamor.

The Shawl paragraph 10

Magda was now making a loud and continuous noise. She was crying basically like she never did before.


Barracks noun \ˈber-ək, -ik; ˈba-rək, -rik\

a :  a structure resembling a shed or barn that provides temporary housing

b :  housing characterized by extreme plainness or dreary uniformity —usually used in plural in all senses

No one took it away from her. Magda was mute. She never cried. Rosa hid her in the barracks, under the shawl, but she knew that one day someone would inform; or one day someone, not even Stella, would steal Magda to eat her.

The Shawl paragraph 6

She hid Magda in a shed like structure. I thought barracks meant something like a cellar but it turned out to be a shed/barn.



Ravenous-very hungry

The Shawl by Cynthia Ozick

“Sometimes Magda sucked air: then she screamed. Stella was Ravenous. Her knees were tumors on sticks, her elbows chicken bones”

The narrator used Ravenous to express the level of hunger that Stella was in, then described it by stating how her legs looked.