Wednesday, February 18, 2009

"I Stand Here Ironing" by Tillie Olsen

“I Stand Here Ironing” by Tillie Olsen, liked to talk about the fact that the main character ironed all of the time and it was that one thing that seemed to keep her life the same and keep her in reality almost. I think there is a very deep significance in the action of ironing; possibly the fact that she is a tough mother, or to remind everyone that she is the mother not anything else.
I liked the title choice and it seemed well thought out. It almost seemed like she was telling this story and reflecting over her life as a mother as she was ironing her daughter’s, Emily, dress.
The style of the writing is old as well as original, it was in a normal format, but the way it went through the story very quickly, as if in a memory, was original.
I thought that the main characters point of view was one of a struggling single mother that wanted only the best for her children; she seemed very upset by the fact that she couldn’t always go near Emily because she couldn’t get the new baby, Susan, sick.
I think that the character of Emily was very attention grabbing in the fact that she was a very peculiar child and liked to collect little oddities, such as 1 earring of a pair. I also thought that might symbolize something as well. Maybe it meant that she was always going someplace out of her will and she wanted to remember it always so she took a piece of it with her. Emily was also peculiar in some of the things that she did, like, “The time we came back, the front door open, the clock on the floor in the hall. She rigid awake. ‘Three times I called you, just three times, and then I ran downstairs to open the door so you could come faster. The clock talked loud. I threw it away, it scared me when it talked.’” (3)
I felt sorry for the mother, and I also felt sorry for Emily, the odd one out who was too skinny and always sick. It makes me want to be very careful with whom I want to be my children’s father; I do not want that to happen to me. Forever ironing. I want to be able to give my future children the life that I think that they deserve, and that is the best one available. I don’t want to be left alone like that. I do admire her courage and strength. But I don’t think I would be able to go through what she did.

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