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Analysis of I Stand Here Ironing by Tillie Olsen

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The narrator in “I stand Here Ironing” has been making several attempts in improving Emily’s fortunes but to no avail. This is attributed by the fact that that she faced several spiritual defeats thus making it necessary for the narrator to mediate her experience on the nature of guilt and regrets that bothered her as a mother. She demonstrates her situation using the current condition by connecting it with the way iron was moving back and front. She further likens the motion of the iron to her own mental process, an element that disturbs her a lot when he remembers all the cautionary statements that had been directed to her by outside and third parties.

Ironing, is a depiction or rather a reflection of what the mother, who is the narrator went through while bringing up her first-born daughter, Emily, which is the cause of all the conflicts experienced in the short story. It is evident that she went through hardships while trying to make ends meet and as much as she struggled, her daughter showed some wrinkled alterations each and every time. This went on until the mother decided to contemplate them as implications following her actions and decisions. However, she proved that she was not going to give up easily in her efforts to bring up her own daughter. This infers that, as a mother, there is a hidden strength and energy that will deter them and make them feel inadequate in the responsibility of raising a child. A justification to this statement is acknowledged by the frequent movement of the mother following the feigned illness of Emily that made her miss several sessions in school, a matter that rendered her to be named as a slow learner. In addition, Emily could not catch up in childhood plays with colleagues such as Susan because she was always not fit and sickling.

Besides, the idea of feminism molestation is another aspect that is depicted in “I stand here ironing” as an aspect that subjected the feminists to struggle hard to comply and satisfy the needs of their loved ones especially during the great depression. The mother, had to work for long hours while ironing, with the aim of contemplating with life situations which became harder each and every day. Her commitment subjected her to contradicting situations in redefining herself. The first aspect was that she missed all time she required to bring up her daughter. The second aspect is that if at all she could stay with her daughter, they could suffer most because there was no one to work and provide for them. The two scenarios were disturbing but were crucial in equal measures.

In every situation facing human nature, determination always leads to a plausible solution. Considering all the ups and downs encountered by the mother in salvaging her daughter’s situation, Emily was also trying to get strong as she could return home and fix herself something to eat. Her mother on the other was hopeful and narrates that Emily was going to be fine just the way she was. She cited her situation was attributed by the rocky childhood encounters and as time went by, Emily could realize that she was a special creation ever

In conclusion, it can be affirmed that parenthood demands some special skills that stabilizes things in the present time and assure the future will be better following the severities that life come up with including behavioral changes. Within this setting, the narrator could not give up in any way, instead, she would turn all the challenges to some kind of self-examination and self-understanding. 

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Analysis Of I Stand Here Ironing By Tillie Olsen. (2021, Jun 09). GradesFixer. Retrieved December 7, 2021, from
“Analysis Of I Stand Here Ironing By Tillie Olsen.” GradesFixer, 09 Jun. 2021,
Analysis Of I Stand Here Ironing By Tillie Olsen. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 7 Dec. 2021].
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