Family Relationships: Sonny Blues By James Baldwin And I Stand Here Ironing By Tillie Olsen

1124 words - 4 pages

In the two texts “Sonny Blues” by James Baldwin and “I Stand Here Ironing” by Tillie Olsen, the authors focus on relationships between family members. The stories are narrated by the brother in “Sonny Blues” and mother “I Stand Here Ironing”, therefore the story are only told through the point of view of the family member. Olsen conveys to readers that the mother does not have control over how her daughter, Emily, is raised and the internal conflict that comes along with mother. However, Baldwin shows a lack of family ties between Sonny’s and his brother. As a result, conflicts arise between the brothers in “Sonny’s Blues”. The conflicts in Baldwin and Olsen stories determine the stagnation relationships between families.
Although, a mother’s determination in the short story “I Stand Here Ironing” mother face with an intense internal conflict involving her oldest daughter Emily. As a single mother struggle, narrator need to work long hours every day in order to support her family. Despite these criticisms, narrator leaves Emily frequently in daycare close to her neighbor, where Emily missing the lack of a family support and loves. According to the neighbor states, “You should smile at Emily more when you look at her” (Olsen 225). On the other hand, neighbor gives the reader a sense that the narrator didn’t show much affection toward Emily as a child. The narrator even comments, “I loved her. There were all the acts of love” (Olsen 225). At the same time, narrator expresses her feeling that she love her daughter. Until, she was not be able to give Emily as much care as she desire and that gives her a sense of guilt, because she ends up remarrying again. Meanwhile narrator having another child named Susan, and life gets more complicated for Emily with family loves.
In the meantime, the narrator’s husband tends to leave Emily alone by herself at home. Eventually, Emily become very weak and sick because she is suffering from tuberculosis and goes to a convalescent home. Although a mother should be taking care of Emily she seem ignoring Emily with her illness. Therefore, mother occupied taking care of her new daughter Susana. In this case narrator felt guilt about herself because relation between Emily is taking a distance from her. Regardless to those complex between Emily and narrator relationship. The Narrator eventually realize, her daughter have a great sense of humor that show approval, and she want to encourage Emily to use her talent. Narrator states, “Why don’t you do something like this in the school amateur show?” (Olsen 228). Once Emily successfully win the talent show, she call her mother with the news of happiness and ends up performing more often. As a result Emily life have changed. Although the narrator is proud of her daughter, she know that the life her daughter live did not explain her sense of humor.
Another, significant factor in "Sonny's Blues" the narrator and his brother Sonny, have issues in life they live completely...

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