Suffering In And Tillie Olsen’s I Stand Here Ironing And James Baldwin’s Sonny’s Blues

1132 words - 5 pages

Pain and suffering is what brings these two stories together, “Sonny’s Blue” by James Baldwin and Tillie Olsen’s “I Stand Here Ironing”, both of the narrator describe their feeling towards their love one.
Sonny’s Blues is a story about an ambitious musician’s life as it is seen through his older brother’s eyes. The story originates with Sonny’s older brother, who is an Algebra teacher, and finding out that Sonny has been sent to prison due to drugs. He finds this out by reading about the case in the newspaper because seemingly Sonny’s lifestyle has caused the brothers to lose contact. After a tragedy hits, the brother reaches out to Sonny in an effort to repair their relationship.
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He just wants to know why he is doing it to himself. His suffering is as great as Sonny's here. They both suffer in a way of grief, the brother lost his daughter and sonny lost his ways.
In “I stand Here Ironing” not only represents gender roles but also family roles. The narrator is a mother giving the reader a sight into her life, the choices she made as a mother, and being a single parent. Through her defense of her situation, she exposes to the reader the lack of confidence that riddle her mind about her mothering. The mother was nineteen year old when she had her. It was during the depression and she couldn’t take her of her on her own. Her husband left her and she was feeling alone and she didn’t really had family around to help her. During the time she misses out on being there for her daughter the younger years. She feels this pain that kills her every time she thinks about.
In this story shows as much apprehension for the language as it does for the unspoken, the unwritten, and silenced words, the characters in "I Stand Here Ironing" live in a world in which feeling is a advantage, where the weight of work and the difficulties of motherhood leave little time for discussion or dialogue. The narrator's fall apart under the anxiety of massive poverty. Moving frequently as their she seek work, the children attend crowded schools with boring teachers.
The mother-daughter relationship, struggle to make ends meet during the Great Depression; the mother works long hours and is unable to care for her daughter. The story also gives us wisdom of the trials faced by her daughter, who comes of age in a the world that values a teenage femininity. Although the mother-daughter relationship in the story doesn't fit the mainstream stereotype, it reveals a strong bond and their love for each other is deep as they share their struggles. The mother said:
“When she saw me she would break into a clogged weeping that could not be comforted, a weeping I can hear yet.”
The daughter even when she was an infant is trying and the...

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