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Compare And Contrast "I Stand Here Ironing" And "How To Talk To Your Mother".

1261 words - 5 pages

Mother and Daughter, a Heavenly Relationship FailedDaughter and mother relationship is an endless topic for many writers. They are meant to share the bond of love and care for each other. In the real world, however, their relationship is not as successful as it ought to be. The stories "How to Talk to Your Mother" and "I Stand Here Ironing" are the examples of this conflict. Lorrie Moore is distinguished for the clever wordplay, irony and sardonic humor of her fiction. "How to Talk to Your mother" is a short story in her collection Self-Help. It is about a failed relationship of a daughter and her mother over time. Similarly, Tillie Olsen's "I Stand Here Ironing" portrays powerfully the economic and domestic burdens a poor woman faced, as well as the responsibility and powerlessness she feels over her child's life. Both stories have the same theme, but each has different technique, and the conflicts from the characters are opposite.Poor communication over time is the theme both stories share. In "How to Talk to Your Mother," Ginny, the author, faded the relationship with her mother as time goes and things changed from 1939 to 1982. In 1952, Ginny started to break away by slamming the door and say "Don't I know it" (Moore 105) when her mother asks about her crush in junior high. Then, she becomes a young adult with a new life and would not come home for holidays. However, it is not until her mother called her by her sister's name that makes she feels uncomfortable. "Learn that you have a way of knowing each other which somehow slips out and beyond the ways you have of not knowing each other at all" (Moore 103). The simply "How to" title belies the complexities of broken communication between mother and daughter. Ginny attempts to communicate with her mother throughout decades, but it never works. In "I Stand Here Ironing," the mother faced the same problem with poor communication. Readers feel deeply sorry for the mother as she is economically alone, lonely, overworked and tired. The mother is always busy and preoccupied with other children. "I was working, there were four smaller ones now, there was not time for her" (Olsen 191). She has little or no time to talk to Emily, the daughter. The only time they met each other is at night, when Emily is struggle over books and the mother be ironing, or do other house chores. In both stories, the mothers and daughters have really poor communication. Each character has her own life and stared to ignore their love ones. Ginny lives her wild life with romance. On the other hand, the mother in "I Stand Here Ironing" is so busy with her low-class life. As a result, their relationship failed as time rolls.Although both stories share similarity, each story was written with different styles, point-of-views, and languages. Lorrie Moore presents "How to Talk to Your Mother" in reverse chronological order, from latest to earliest. This technique supports her main idea by illustrating the broken communication...

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