I Stand Here Ironing By Tillie Olsen

837 Words4 Pages
In Tillie Olsen’s “I Stand Here Ironing” is a short story describing how a mother reflects on how she raised her daughter and the challenges they faced while she was ironing some clothes. In “I Stand Here Ironing” Olsen uses setting, imagery, and tone to show the theme of guilt and regret.
Tillie Olsen was inspired by Rebecca Harding Davis’s “Life in the Iron Mills” at the age of fifteen. At eighteen she had joined the Young Communist League and was jailed for a month in Kansas City for distributing leaflets, and encouraging packinghouse workers to unionize. “I Stand Here Ironing” was published when she was fifty years old after she had raised four children and worked multiple jobs to help support her family.
The mother, who is also the narrator, reflects back on how she got her daughter and the struggles she had went through over the years. Over the course of the nineteen years, she couldn’t always be there for her daughter, which caused a strain in their relationship. Teachers and counselors
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The narrator tells how hard she constantly worked to support her family, but her daughter, she didn’t receive enough attention from her mother. The mother tried her best to be there for her daughter but had to be a mom to her other children as well. The narrator notices she isn’t very familiar with her child and when the teacher asked her to come in and talk about her daughter, causes the narrator to flashback on the past nineteen years. The fact that the mother can not answer simple questions with her child’s teacher, makes her realize that she didn’t spend an appropriate amount of time with her daughter, and regrets it. It took multiple comedy performances of the daughter’s act for her mother to go and see her perform. The narrator was in shock when she saw how different her daughter performed on stage. For a child to understand how bad their parents treat them, creates a bad image on how guilty unsupportive parents can
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