I Stand Here Ironing By Tillie Olsen

583 Words3 Pages
“I Stand Here Ironing”, by Tillie Olsen, is more meaningful because of its point of view. The story is told by a mother and the story is really just a collection of memories about her oldest child, Emily. Had the story been told from another point of view, it probably wouldn’t have been as heart wrenching. Nobody wants to see the heartbreak of a mother because a mother’s pain is, undoubtedly, the most intense kind of pain. “I Stand Here Ironing” is a look into a mother’s pain, made even more heartbreaking by being told from the mother’s point of view. The story opens with a mother thinking about a call she received from a counselor at her daughter Emily’s school. She is told that the counselor wants to help Emily. “I wish you would manage the time to come in and talk with me about your daughter,” (pg 292), are the words tormenting the mother. From an outside point of view, those words might not seem to carry any kind of weight. Because the mother is telling…show more content…
Her mother is fully aware of Emily’s problems, stating them clearly for the reader. She admits to being aware of Emily’s obvious inferiority complex, “she fretted about her appearance,” “she was not glib or quick in a world where glibness or quickness were easily confused with the ability to learn” (pg 295). If Emily herself was narrating the story, it would be possible for the emotions to be brushed aside or dismissed as less intense. With her mother telling the story, Emily’s feelings are revealed honestly, as her mother saw them. The emotions are rawer, since her mother has no reason to hide her feelings in the structure of the story. The mother admits to being aware of her daughter’s problems but not knowing how to combat them or help her. Emily and her mother have both suffered, Emily from her issues and her mother from being unable to help. Her mother’s pain is shown through the point of view so it is more

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