Analysis Of Tillie Olsen's I Stand Here Ironing

886 Words 4 Pages
Typically in stories we see mothers painted in one of two lights, the first being the all American, doting, and loving mother, the second at times unfavorable or cold. Rarely does the reader get the see the character for both their good and bad in blatant truth. In Tillie Olsen’s I Stand Here Ironing the narrator makes herself transparent to the reader and allows us to see her for exactly who she has been throughout her journey of motherhood, flaws and all.

In this story, we meet a mother of five who remains nameless throughout. This woman tells us of her struggles as a working single parent. When we meet our main character she is busy with housework, as she often is, when she receives word from someone who is concerned for the emotional well-being
…show more content…
With her new work schedule the narrator finds herself forced to place Emily in daycare while she works. Although she knows that her daughter is not receiving quality care, she continues sending her daughter to this care-giver. Many hours are spent away from her daughter and young Emily often cries for her when she picks her up in the evenings. Eventually, due to her work schedule the mother has to send her daughter to live with her father’s family until she can more adequately provide for …show more content…
Emily’s mother places the blame on her circumstances in some instances rather than own up to her emotional absence in her children’s lives. She claims that Emily is just a child who is a product of the era in which she lives and that although she might not live up to all of her potential, at least some of her inner light will shine and she will make something of herself. It is with this attitude that she conveys an air passivism. Instead of hoping to help her daughter see all that lies within her and strive to become her personal best, she appears content with the idea of her daughter settling for an average life in the same way that she

Related Documents