Analysis Of Tillie Olsen's I Stand Here Ironing

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It is said from the beginning of time that nothing could ever be greater than a mother's love for her child, and in the story "I Stand Here Ironing" by Tillie Olsen, it proves just that. In the story the narrator, an unnamed mother reflects back to the days when her child, Emily, was still a baby and the struggle of raising her during the Great Depression. The mother then goes on to talk about the unexpected situations in society and her life that made her become a single working-class mother who also had to give her baby to the father's family because she couldn't afford to raise Emily on her own. The story "I Stand Here Ironing" tells a lot about a mother's regrets and sacrifices for her own child and how far she would go in order to do what…show more content…
Many grow up to believe that a mother can do everything and anything but they don't see the process and sacrifices that it takes for a mother to do all of the things that she does. In "I Stand Here Ironing" the mother doesn't believe that she made enough sacrifices for Emily while she was a child and she believes that she was an active role in Emily's unhappiness while she was growing up. However, the mother doesn't realize that she sacrificed herself for Emily, she gave up her happiness, time and the role of a mother for Emily's wellbeing. The mother was nineteen at the time, yet she found a night job so that she could be with Emily in the daytime, "After a while a found a job hashing at night so I could be with her days, and it was better" (383). The mother also got persuaded into putting Emily in a convalescent home because it is said that "she can have the kind of food and care you can't manage to give her." (385) which made the mother doubt herself and therefore sent Emily away once again thinking that it was the best choice for Emily since she couldn't give her the undivided attention she needed due to the newborn baby that just arrived. Eight months has past and now Emily is back home but yet again she was a different person and all of the affection the mom was showing towards Emily just made her push her mother away more, making the mother believe that she has failed once again. But in the end, the mother…show more content…
And slowly, throughout the story, the reader can see how much the mother sacrificed for Emily's happiness even though it didn't turn out the way the mother wanted it to. She wanted Emily to have a fulfilled childhood, with laughter and happiness, however, she realizes that her actions with Emily's upbringing will have a major effect on Emily's future. All and all, a mother can only so much for her child ¬and though every mother wants to be the perfect mother for her child, perfection is not possible in the world of motherhood. In the story "I Stand Here Ironing" by Tillie Olsen, the mother sacrificed her own happiness for Emily's happiness, which also filled her with deep remorse and regrets towards Emily's upbringing. However, it also shows how far a mother will go in order to do what is right for her child even if she is left with deep

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