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The Mother Daughter Relationship In Stand Here Ironing

601 words - 2 pages

The Mother-Daughter Relationship in Stand Here Ironing

To many people, the ideal mother-daughter relationship
is not like the one we find in this short story. In this
case, however, its not being an ideal relationship is not
the fault of the mother or daughter. Through her own
relative thoughts, the mother illustrates the circumstances
of the relationship that evolved with her daughter. Despite
the mother's self incriminating thoughts, the dents in the
mold of their mother-daughter relationship were made by the
tough circumstances in their lives.
From the beginning we hear the mother's self
inculpating thoughts of all she "did or did not do." Emily
is born into an unfortunate surrounding and, at the early
age of eight months, her mother must leave her in the care
of a woman whom Emily doesn't favor. The mother blames
herself for her daughter's unhappiness and yet unknowingly
justifies her actions with the immense love that she has for
her. She recognizes that she was not able to be with her
daughter at a time when young children want to cling to
their mothers the most. But what else could she do? As she
states, this was a time of the "pre-relief, pre-WPA world of
the depression(152)." When she was away from Emily, she was
working for her. She even found a job at night so she could
be with Emily during the days. The mother was doing her
best to work around the circumstances with Emily's best
interest in mind, even at the cost of a slight dent in their
own relationship by her being away from Emily so much.
At another crucial stage in Emily's life, when the
second baby is born, she is kept away from both her mother
and the new baby. With the obvious immense attention that
is required to the newborn, it is important for Emily to be
reassured of her mothers love to prevent...

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