Emily Olsen's I Stand Here Ironing

1435 Words 6 Pages
When recalling ether fond or sad memories your thoughts create a stream that is natural, maybe in order of event or in order of enjoyment. In “I Stand Here Ironing” the Narrator’s flow-of-consciousness replicates the unrestricted elegant thoughts of the mother, while she reflects on her daughter’s full life. The mother struggles to make sense and logic of her daughter’s situation as pieces together fragmented memories. She fights to try to see the reason for her daughter’s, Emily, behavior but lucidity eludes her. The narrator’s nonlinear thoughts, usually jumbled, would reflect the theme of the author. Olsen often shows themes of familial and environmental circumstances that shape the characters traits, behaviors, and illuminate the complexities …show more content…
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. Being a woman in the age of the great depression; you were expected to be a homemaker, mother, and wife. The mother’s tasks were tedious, and when you had more kids you were expected to take care of them yourself because your husband was the breadwinner. It did not matter if a child slipped through the cracks like Emily did because there were more serious things to concern yourself with. Mental illness was ignored and if you were the oldest you had a job to do. Women, of past eras, bared all the unseen burdens just from behind the ironing board, but they arranged the brickwork for us future women. They laid there like the helpless dress wishing and silently calling out to be noticed and soon that call was heard. Now women have a voice and do not have to bend to what men and society expect of them and we are lucky for

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