Analysis Of ' I Stand Here Ironing '

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Modern America still grapples with the ideas of gender and class. We struggle with the meaning of feminism in a world where many see the concept negatively. We struggle to break gender roles in a world that for all its progress, will not entirely let go of the past. We struggle with how to alleviate the consequences of poverty in a world where those with money and those without it have never been farther apart. These struggles, though they take place in an America unimaginable to many of its long ago citizens, have their roots in the past. Stories like Tillie Olsen’s “I Stand Here Ironing” also tried to piece their way through the murk of gender and class relations, and can offer modern American students more insight into the complexities of this subject. Through this piece of female literature, the forgotten women of midcentury America are brought back to life on the page. For too long in American history, women with little time and energy, like the story’s narrator, have been sidelined in literature, while their richer or male counterparts remain in focus. People like the narrator and her daughter Emily, despite being a significant portion of the human population, tended to simply disappear. While this trend has been on the decline in recent years with the rise of writers like Toni Morrison, literature that addresses these women from their own time periods is rare. Reading Tillie Olsen can rectify this problem and expose Academy students to a section of the human race
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