Abstract: Cynthia Ozick's The Shawl—Rosa and Toni Morrison's Beloved depict the characters' struggles to fulfill their roles as mothers despite harrowing circumstances, whether of slavery or war. In both works a woman's body and mind become sites for violation as her sexual, reproductive, and maternal functions are besieged by her enemies. Since their children's lives have been lost to oppression, the women must learn to justly acknowledge, then to relinquish the dominance of, the spirits of their dead offspring over the women's lives. Witnessing to and resisting injustice must be accomplished both to honor the dead victims of tyranny and to heal the survivors.
Shofar: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Jewish Studies – Purdue University Press
Published: Oct 3, 1999