The Great Depression In Tillie Olsen's I Stand Here Ironing

791 Words4 Pages
In the short story, I Stand Here Ironing, by Tillie Olsen. Took place in “Pre-relief, pre-WPA world depression,” also known as the great depression and the second world war.The Great depression era was important to this story because emily was born during this era, and the second world war is important because this where emily stepfather went off to first. The point of view of this story is the third-person omniscient because the story only uses the narrator's thoughts or known as in the story Emily's mother. The tone of the story is regretful throughout the story.The protagonist of the story is Emily's mother and Emily and there is a foil character that is the new baby girl Susan.The minor character are This story starts off as the narrator…show more content…
Emily took her advice, won first prize, and then became a local star, performing at other high schools, colleges, and state-wide affairs. Though adoring fans often told the narrator that she should nurture Emily's gift and help her pursue it professionally, the mother does not know how to do that.
In the present, Emily enters, joking about how her mother is always ironing. She refuses to to come meet the figure from her school, however. Emily insists that her mother not wake her the next morning for school, even though she has midterms, since the atomic bomb will destroy everyone soon anyway, making midterms irrelevant. Once Emily leaves, the narrator admits her concern that Emily actually has such a pessimistic outlook.
To close, the narrator insists that Emily will be okay, and that she will not come into school to talk further. She wants the school figure to "let her be" (12). The narrator claims she can never "total it all," all of Emily's pain from childhood, and she mourns that Emily has had to keep too much inside of herself. Finally, the narrator asks the figure from school only to make sure Emily understands that "she is more than this dress on the ironing board, helpless before the iron"

More about The Great Depression In Tillie Olsen's I Stand Here Ironing

Open Document