I Stand Here Ironing, An Analysis

711 words - 3 pages

"I Stand Here Ironing" by Tillie Olsen is a short story that talks about a handicapped child. Emily had to struggle a whole lot on her short life, but at the end she proved to be a very strong child. Tillie Olsen's characterization of Emily shows a strong female protagonist who overcomes numerous odds: loneliness, humbleness, vulnerability, and her disability.

The story is based on a child named Emily that has a physical disability. Emily lived in a family of five children. "She always had a reason why we should stay home" (Olsen 601). Emily is lonely. When she was a toddler, she was left in a day care so Emily's mom could bring income to the house. Emily is a child that, as many others, grew up mostly on day care. Emily was always eager to spend more time with her mom and no one else, but her mom had other siblings to take care of and was always busy. "You should smile at Emily more when you look at her." (Olsen 601). Parents, at times, do not think of how important a smile could be for a child. Emily could see the love of her mom, but smile would have given her the knowledge of Emily's being important for her mom.

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Emily was a humble child. "Can't you go some other time, Mommy, like tomorrow" (Olsen 602). She was looking for a way to keep her mom within her reach. Unfortunately her mom had to go to the hospital and have a baby. "Susan telling jokes

and riddles to company for applause while Emily sat silent (to say to me later: that was my riddle, Mother, I told it to Susan)" (Olson 603). Emily was a child that did not have any envy towards her sister Susan, because she was so much different in many aspects. The difference of the age did not interfere. Emily was always willing to play and teach her sister new things. They shared so many things and enjoyed the company of each other. Their mother sometimes would keep Emily home so they could...

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