This essay has been submitted by a student. This is not an example of the work written by professional essay writers.

Parental Guidance in ‘i Stand Here Ironing’ by Tillie Olsen

downloadDownload printPrint

Remember! This is just a sample.

You can get your custom paper by one of our expert writers.

Get custom essay

121 writers online


In her short story, “I Stand Here Ironing,” Tillie Olsen explores the ways in which the choices of parents contribute to their children’s coming of age–or lack thereof– in several regards. Her story just barely falls short of a bulleted list of what not to do when raising a child, with a full epilogue on what happens when one does not follow that list. The work speaks volumes about mother-daughter relationships and continuously alludes toward the ways in which those relationships can be severely damaged using clear examples again and again throughout the text. Throughout the course of the story, Olsen provides example after example told first-hand from a mother fallen victim the consequences of her own mistakes, brought about by the unluckiest of circumstances. The objective of Olsen’s story is to illustrate to her audience composed primarily of parents the detrimental effects certain parenting choices can bring, while providing and explaining several examples of these choices, including working far too often, not being attentive enough, and neglecting their children’s basic need for emotional connection.

Toward the beginning of the story, Olsen describes through her narrator the ringing of a small child’s haunting words still ever present in the ears of the emotionally detached mother from whom the story is based. “‘Can’t you go some other time, Mommy, like tomorrow?’ she would ask. ‘Will it be just a little while you’ll be gone? Do you promise?’” (3). It is here that the reader first gets a glimpse of Emily’s internal struggle. These are not just the words of a typical child missing her mother. It is evident that there is some deeper underlying issue going on with Emily due to her mother’s frequent absence. This entity is reinforced while the mother recounts her daughter’s next words as she comes back home to find her wide awake and frightened in the middle of the night. “It wasn’t just a little while,” the young girl announced so boldly. “I didn’t cry. Three times I called you, just three times, and then I ran downstairs to open the door so you could come faster” (Olsen 3). The mother in the story works long hours and is constantly away from her young daughter, and too often, the girl is left at home alone with no supervision, no babysitter, no comforter.

Remember: This is just a sample from a fellow student.

Your time is important. Let us write you an essay from scratch

experts 450+ experts on 30 subjects ready to help you just now

delivery Starting from 3 hours delivery

Find Free Essays

We provide you with original essay samples, perfect formatting and styling

Cite this Essay

To export a reference to this article please select a referencing style below:

Parental Guidance in ‘I Stand Here Ironing’ by Tillie Olsen. (2018, November 05). GradesFixer. Retrieved January 27, 2023, from
“Parental Guidance in ‘I Stand Here Ironing’ by Tillie Olsen.” GradesFixer, 05 Nov. 2018,
Parental Guidance in ‘I Stand Here Ironing’ by Tillie Olsen. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 27 Jan. 2023].
Parental Guidance in ‘I Stand Here Ironing’ by Tillie Olsen [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2018 Nov 05 [cited 2023 Jan 27]. Available from:
copy to clipboard

Where do you want us to send this sample?

    By clicking “Continue”, you agree to our terms of service and privacy policy.


    Be careful. This essay is not unique

    This essay was donated by a student and is likely to have been used and submitted before

    Download this Sample

    Free samples may contain mistakes and not unique parts


    Sorry, we could not paraphrase this essay. Our professional writers can rewrite it and get you a unique paper.



    Please check your inbox.

    We can write you a custom essay that will follow your exact instructions and meet the deadlines. Let's fix your grades together!


    Hi there!

    Are you interested in getting a customized paper?

    Check it out!
    Don't use plagiarized sources. Get your custom essay. Get custom paper

    We can help you get a better grade and deliver your task on time!

    • Instructions Followed To The Letter
    • Deadlines Met At Every Stage
    • Unique And Plagiarism Free
    Order your paper now