What Is The Theme Of I Stand Here Ironing

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I Stand Here Ironing “I Stand Here Ironing” is a remarkable short story written by Tillie Olsen. Olsen was known for her short stories regarding working-class Americans. “I Stand Here Ironing” is just that, set in The Great Depression Era, here the narrator of the story is a young mother giving a glimpse into her life during that time, choices she made as a mother, and being a single parent. While in a defense mode during the story as she spoke to someone that had great concerns for her daughter, Emily, she portrayed the struggles and guilt she faced raising Emily but knowing deep inside that Emily was fine and this person needed to “let her be”. I nominated “I Stand Here Ironing” as the best short story because from the beginning it had…show more content…
There were times they played together but really Emily resented Susan. Susan was the person Emily wanted to be like with her “golden and curly-hair and chubby”. Emily always frets about her appearance; she was dark and thin and foreign-looking in a world where the prestige went to blondeness and curly hair and dimples. Emily was sick when they brought Susan home. Emily couldn’t be around her mother or Susan. Emily’s illness caused her to have nightmares causing her to cry out to her mother at night but she would never go to her. The mother remembers telling her she was okay just go back to sleep. When the mother had the chance to go set with Emily, she was asleep and unware her mother was there. Again Emily had to be sent away so she could get better but she didn’t get better however, she was still able to return home. The mother remembers trying to hold Emily, hug her, but she was stiff and didn’t want to be touched. At this time the mother realized she had missed out on so much of Emily’s early years and felt she was losing Emily for she kept to herself. There were more children in the home now, demanding the mother’s attention. Emily had to help be a mother, and housekeeper, and shopper. The mother was always getting ready for the next day, ironing everyone’s clothes to make them perfect. Emily didn’t have any friends, she had a hard time getting the boys attention; no matter how nice she was to them they always liked someone better.…show more content…
The mother suggests to Emily that she should do something like that in the school amateur show. This is the point of the story where Emily’s life took a drastic change. One morning Emily phoned me at work, hardly understandable through the weeping: Mother, I did it, I won, I won; they gave me first prize; they clapped and clapped and wouldn’t let me go.” At this point in her life, she was somebody. This was the climax of the of Emily’s life, even for her mother. She was asked to perform at other high schools, even colleges, then at city and statewide. She was so happy now; so
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