Symbolism In I Stand Here Ironing

Good Essays
I stand here ironing was written by Tillie Lerner Olsen and published in 1961. Do you know why the mother stand here and iron? Do you know what happened during ironing? In the perspective of Emily’s mother, the author will tell a story which happened in the Great Depression and recorded upbringing of her firstborn daughter Emily, from a beautiful baby to a cynicism and crooked teen.
Emily was born in Great Depression and her father left before she was one year old because he couldn’t stand the poverty. Her mother worked whenever she found something to work being forced to leave her daughter with her grandparents. The place that Emily lived was not very clean and smelled soul. When she was old enough, she was sent to the kindergarten which means a horrific place that teachers treated children with bad attitude. Thus, Emily expected staying home and having her mom’s accompanying, however, her mother was working too hard to look after her at that period. After then, Emily had a high fever and didn’t get recovery. Following the doctor’s advice, she was sent to a
…show more content…
For example, the convalescent home asked children not to be contaminated by parents. So Emily had to meet her mother while she stood on the balcony and her mother stood on ground. The Emily’s balcony shows the gap in emotion communication between Emily and her mother that they can only communicate face to face rather than hurt to hurt. Another bright spot is the writer use first-person-perspective to show the grow path of Emily, writing as her mother and reflecting the mistaken choice she had ever made. As we read the story we are drawn through a knowledge of the present reality and reconstruct the past. In other words, the mother was setting out to assess her own responsibility, her own failure. In the whole process, we could infer the inner heart rather than directly read it as usual

Related Documents

  • Decent Essays

    Emily has another childhood disease. This means when Emily’s mother returns home neither the narrator nor the baby can come around Emily for another week (Olsen 384). This child is now being neglected because she is ill and the mother has a new baby. For two weeks the mother is not doing anything for Emily. Even though the narrator is married to Susan’s father, she is still unable to take care of Emily the way others feel she should.…

    • 1459 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    The scuffle of dealing with a young inexperienced mother, mental illness, and life. The narrator was Emily’s nineteen-year-old mother that did not have a clue on how to raise a child in a depression-ridden era. While she tried her hardest to give Emily the best life possible, but she was unable, which further detached the relationship between the two. This distance that Emily created because of her true uncertainty of her mother created underlying mental illness. Tillie Olson wrote this short story to show the hardship and what women suffered through because of simple limitations that were imposed on them.…

    • 1435 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Since the mother has refused treatment of her cancer, the girls’ grades have slipped and they are becoming frightened at how physically dependent their mother is becoming. Their mother’s condition is affecting them in negative ways, which is child neglect or abuse. By reporting the mother the home health nurse would be making a decision that brings about the greatest good for all the parties…

    • 1288 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    The mother no longer has the child because the poverty has taken power and disabled her to care for the child properly. “When she finally came, I hardly knew her , walking quickly and nervous like her father … All the baby loveliness gone” (Olsen 589). When the mother receives the child back the child has aged by two years and has changed emotionally as well. The…

    • 1296 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    The narrator does not like the idea that her daughter gets to go to work while her husband stays at home or goes to the gym. Even after getting a job, john loses it after a while making Natalie the only breadwinner in the family creating conflict since she works hard. “No money left over, because only one income, but lucky enough, got the babysitter for free” (Gish 228). Later, after the narrator moves out of her daughters’ house, the daughter and husband, John, hire a babysitter for their daughter yet the mother is around. My friend a few weeks ago came to my house and started crying.…

    • 1073 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    My Mother

    • 967 Words
    • 4 Pages

    She left me crying, I wanted to go back to El Salvador were mommy and daddy were, I missed them so much. A few months passed, my relationship with my mother was getting worst and I didn’t know how to make it better. As our relationship was getting worst every day, I thought that maybe she didn’t love me and that’s when I started cutting myself. Every time I had an argument with her or she would say things a mother should never say to her child, I would cut myself with anything a knife, a razor, or broken pieces of glass. The days came where if I didn’t go back to El Salvador I was going to keep cutting myself, when I became depressed I wanted to kill myself.…

    • 967 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    This makes Sal feel like she was the reason for her little sisters death. When Sal's mom was pregnant, Sal didn’t want any siblings, she thought that if her mom had any kids that meant that she wouldn’t love her as much. As her mom was pregnant longer, Sal started to look forward to having a sibling. When her little sister died, Sal became sad, and she felt guilty for her death, because Sal had fallen out of a tree. Her mom had to carry her home from where she fell, before she had her baby.…

    • 1344 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    My aunt and grandmother decided to finance a trailer together. The decision between my aunt and grandmother caused turmoil in my family because other members of my family believed that my aunt was using my grandmother’s situation just to benefit herself. I remember the look of recollection on my grandmother’s face when she recited the story of her trying to dissolve the drama between her children. She was reminded of the many sleepless and tearful nights thinking of how her life was falling apart in front of her eyes and there was nothing she could do to get out of the rut she had fallen into. In her journey to bring peace back to my family my grandmother enlisted my father to take her to a financial advisor to review her situation and make sure she was going to…

    • 1209 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Due to being a single mother, working multiple jobs, and suffering illnesses, her ability to take care of Emily was very limited. Therefore, the mother blames herself for Emily’s suffering and strange behavior. The mother recalls that, “There were years she did not want me to touch her. She kept too much in herself, her life was such she had to keep too much in herself.” (Olsen). Therefore, Emily grew up hating her mother most of her life because she was never there for her.…

    • 1402 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    My dad started blaming me for things out of my control. Telling me I was ungrateful to my mom, and how I wasn’t helping around the house. I fell further and further into depression and loneliness. Here I was a teen/adult and getting ready for high school, and I didn’t feel very cool. I was depressed because my mom hadn’t been home for a while and she had things going on in her world as well.…

    • 1616 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Decent Essays