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I Stand Here Ironing Essay

670 words - 3 pages


"I Stand Here Ironing", by Tillie Olsen is a short story portraying the life and regret of a young mother struggling to raise her oldest daughter. The mother- daughter relationship is the major part of the story and the attitude of the mother toward her daughter, Emily, and the actual character of the mother are two very important elements. The character of the mother can be said to be strong and persevering, and along with her age and experience came her wisdom. At first her attitude toward her daughter seemed more of resigned and regretful, but as Emily grew up and became a beautiful and talented young women, the mother knows to let her be and leave her to live her own life. The character of the mother is crucial to the entire story, for it is this that will determine her attitudes toward her daughter. She at first, seemed very naïve and weak in a big scary world, with society constantly nipping at her heels, but, as she lives, she learns to take life as it comes and try her hardest to do her best. Which at that time was no easy thing to do. The strength and love that the mother exhibits constantly keeps the idea of hope with the reader. The character of the mother is a determining factor in her attitude towards her daughter. As her character changed, so did her feelings about Emily. In the beginning of the story, the mother talks of how sorry and regretful she is of her daughter’s childhood. She looks at her unfortunate daughter, Emily, with pity, first of all, because of her uncontrollable circumstances in society. Despite the mother’s self- incriminating thoughts, the dents in the mold of their relationship were made by the harsh circumstances of their lives. From the beginning we hear about the mother’s self- inculpating thoughts of all she "did and did not do." To many people, the ideal mother- daughter relationship...

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