I Stand Here Ironing

1294 Words6 Pages
The Distant Relationship between a Daughter and Her Mother Senior year is time for high school students to celebrate their accomplishments and move on to their new life - an independent life from parents. However, you should respect and appreciate these last moments of love, care and support from your parents because many unfortunate children such as Emily in “I Stand Here Ironing” story written by Tillie Olsen have not received all the care from their parents since their youth age. Olsen expresses successfully in this monologue story the distance between a mother and her daughter along with the mother’s guilty feeling of not being able to fix their relationship. “I Stand Here Ironing” story begins with the dialogue of the unnamed…show more content…
Suffering from tuberculosis, Emily was sent away from her mother again to a convalescent home, where she could be better cared for. While Emily is at the recovery center, she is cut off from almost all communication especially relationship with her own mother. Even the letters the narrator writes to her are read to her once and then thrown away. Parents are allowed to visit only every other Sunday, when the children line up on the balconies of their cottages and conduct shouted conversations with the parents who stand below. Emily’s balcony in particular represents the emotional distance between the narrator and her daughter. The narrator seems unable to establish direct contact with Emily, either in the recovery center or their home life. The narrator notes how Emily grew slowly more distant and emotionally unresponsive. Emily returned home frail, distant, and rigid, with little appetite. Each time Emily returned, she was forced to reintegrate into the changing fabric of the household. Clearly, Emily and the narrator have been absent from each other’s lives during significant portions of Emily’s development. After so much absence, the narrator intensifies her attempts to show Emily affection, but these attempts are rebuffed, coming too late to prevent Emily’s withdrawal from her family and the world. Although Emily is now at home with the narrator, the sense of absence continues even in the present moment of the story. Emily, the narrator’s central
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