english4101 - This short story has an unmistakable tone of...

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Angela Shamay Response to Observing the Ordinary “I Stand Here Ironing” by Tillie Olsen is a short story about a mother who is engulfed with regrets. She is full of regret because she’s not sure if she raised her daughter, Emily, correctly. Emily is a somber, quiet girl who is full of insecurities. She never wanted to be touched by her mother because she was not raised with affection. Her mother hardly smiled at her, causing Emily’s sullenness. It was rare occurrence if Emily smiled. But Emily never demanded or expected much from her mother. Unlike her brothers and sisters, Emily always sheltered her needs instead of expressing them. However, Emily had a rare talent to make people laugh. She performed as a pantomime and was highly praised. Her mother was happy she found something that she enjoyed. Nevertheless, Emily’s personality stayed the same throughout her teen years.
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Unformatted text preview: This short story has an unmistakable tone of sadness and regret. The mother regrets not giving enough attention and love to her daughter. But who could blame her? She was a husbandless, working mother of four children (during the Great Depression). It was hard to raise Emily under the circumstances. But nevertheless, she feels a great deal of regret because she managed to raise her other children with affection. Her only hope is that Emily will realize that she is more than a dress on the ironing board, helpless before the iron (Olsen, 70). Metaphorically, she hopes that Emily will realize her own worth and appreciate herself for what she is. Her mother doubts that her qualities will bloom, but she hopes that her daughter will someday accept herself they way she is....
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