I Stand Here Ironing Tillie Olsen short story. “l Stand here Ironing”. Records the critical thoughts of a mother, as she reflects on her daughter’s life. Although the mother in the story feels disappointing and deficient because she feels as though she has not done much good In her Life, the author Is very empathic toward her as you can see In the author’s narrative techniques and other resources of language. After hearing of another person’s concern for her daughter, the mother analyzes the causes of her 19 year old daughters present problems and defends her daughter and her own tethering.

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Olsen use of narrative techniques and choice of details and diction allow the reader to see the empathy in the author’s tone throughout the story. The first few words of the story, I stand here Ironing, establishes the mother’s position and narrator role. The mother then questions and defends her Inability. She continuously addresses the well-intentioned, but misunderstanding “you” which can tend to show some sort of irritation for her own short comings In life. A stream of consciousness effect now follows as the mother recollects on her daughter’s beauty s a baby and the breast-feeding techniques she followed as the books said.

However, she reverts to addressing the “you” again as she questions her own mothering techniques. Although she feels guilt and regret, the mother defiantly defends her necessity to work and leave the baby behind with a woman who didn’t see her as a “miracle” at all. The 19 year old working mother is defended by the mother remembering herself as she remembers the poverty problems and single-parent struggles she had to go through. The narrator-mothers thoughts then leave the past and center on a recent illegal between her and her daughter, which Is loosely organized to show the feeling of remembering.

The last two paragraphs are the mothers Insightful analyses of her own faults and limitations, “l will never total it all,” and an accurate explanation of her daughter’s causes for problems. The mother reveals that her daughter as a child was seldom smiled at and

Page 2 I Stand Here Ironing: Story Analysis Essay

not loved with a proud love but an anxious love. She then confesses: “l was a young… And distracted motherњ and that “my wisdom came too late” to help the daughter. Her final conclusion: “Let her be” is most powerful because it is the exult of the Juxtaposed feelings of guilt and Justification that the mother feels as a result of her daughter’s problems.

The choice of detail and Dalton In the story adds tremendously to the image that the reader gets of the mother and her daughter. The mother feels that she will become overwhelmed by mixed, unsorted feelings that concern her daughter, allowing the reader to sense that she is experiencing inner conflict. The careful description of the breast-feeding and the remembrance that her breasts ached with swollenness shows that the mother Is a loving, determined other who has done her best possible.

Her recollection of Emily, her daughter father’s leaving note causes a warm feeling of memory from the reader. Also the mother’s sentimental recollections of later years, of her teenage daughter’s dark, thin, and foreign looking appearance demonstrate her loving and understanding compassion for her daughter. All of these recollections, and the language used by the author, show that even though the mother may be very critical of herself, the author sees her as much more, and even empathic with her.

The mother’s defensive, protective and loving understanding of her daughter is so effectively brought out by Olsen narrative and detail techniques. The plea “Only help her know that she is more than this helpless dress before the ironing board” intensely moves the reader to respond to the mother’s situation. The author is very empathetic toward the mother , even though it seems as if the mother is very critical of herself, as you can see in the author’s narrative techniques and other resources of language as she writes the story “l Stand Here Ironing. “

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