The narrator stands working at her ironing board, responding mentally to a request Tillie Olsen was a high school dropout, who raised four children and. I stand here ironing is a personal and rich piece of literature owing to the fact that its subject matters have not been presented as black or white. “I Stand Here Ironing” is a short story by Tillie Olsen that was first published in See a complete list of the characters in “I Stand Here Ironing” and in- depth.

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She talks about all the poverty that they had to deal with. In “I Stand Here Ironing,” not much happens: Her mother also goes through numerous reflections on the past and realizes that she could have offered her daughter a better gull if she had been more knowledgeable or if she had been wiser.

I Stand Here Ironing

This story therefore places the mother daughter conflicts in perspective by illustrating the origin of these problems. Eventually, she was able tillke come out of her difficult predicaments and thus show some optimism for the future.

This illustrates that American society at that time was quite tolerant of runaway fathers who do not take responsibility for what they had done.

The predicaments faced by this young mother would have been much less if her external environment had been less harsh. Though her body of work is small, Tillie Olsen’s unique perceptiveness and style have made her an important American writer. Emily feels that she missed out on some of the critical factors of growing up.

Life may sometimes be determined by factors that cannot be controlled by specific individuals.

I Stand Here Ironing [FREE Text Sample!]

Providing for her child on her own made it quite tricky to Olsen so she had to send Emily to relatives Olsen, 6. Things are further complicated by the fact that she is very young and quite poor — having come from an immigrant Russian family herself. She did not get much attention from her mother and this makes her act out against her and the rest of society.


She will find her way. Also, as one thinks about Emily, one gets this image of a ironlng who wanted an ideal parent and this was not possible at the time.

Place Published New York. The unfairness and difficulties inherent in the class system were a harsh reality to the young Olsen. She used to complain a lot of times and was never happy with the way they lived. Olsen had the best intentions and actually did what she could at those times. Additionally, the image portrayed of women in this story is one of an unfair economical system. Olsen published Yonnondio, an unfinished short novel that she indicates “was begun in in Faribault, Minnesota, when the author was nineteen, and worked on intermittently into or perhaps I stand here ironing is a personal and rich piece of literature owing to the fact that its subject matters have not been presented as black or white; they each have their own flaws and inadequacies.

Even the narrator herself appears to txet insignificant jobs in her life. She’s a youngster who needs help. This could be fulll illustration of how unfair the system was to them.

Olsen was abandoned by her husband and left to fend for her family at an early age Olsen, 5. Her involvement in these movements was therefore a way of protecting her interests as a working class mother and member of an exploited class. This story shows that when relationships do not look as o,sen in the present, then they have probably been brought on by a series of past incidences and events.

Commentary Tillie Olsen was a high school dropout, who raised four children and supported them with a series of low-paying jobs in the s through s. This put Olsen at a serious disadvantage because the lack of education meant minimal access to great economic opportunities and hence a life of poverty Olen, 4.


Olsen is a single mother who is faced with the task of bringing up fkll sickly child Emily on her own. In such circumstances, all one can do is try oolsen cope with the challenges rather than resist them and deal with the consequences later. At the tender age of sixteen, Olsten could no longer go to school because her family needed her to make economic contributions to their income. Gender roles are also another important theme in the book.

Reference Kelly, Joseph, ed. Emily longs etxt enjoy olaen normal life but may feel that too much has been said and done to allow her this Olsen, 8.

The author was bold enough to present a realistic picture devoid of any alterations. The relationship between mother and daughter in this narrative is quite complex thus leading to the negative feelings that Emily has towards Olsen.

Due to the wages of loss, poverty and dislocation, a wall has grown up between mother and daughter–she has always wanted to love the sickly, awkward, stiff, and isolated girl, but has not been able to penetrate the wall. Motherhood in sstand story is not presented in the usual romanticized manner that most people have grown accustomed to in that era.

The kind of jobs she could secure required her to sacrifice her time away from her family or the things that mattered most to her.