Bryn Tomlinson Wk. 5 Form and Meaning.doc

Olsen 1961 she has made a very valid point here and

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should have been and what cannot be helped.” (Olsen, 1961). She has made a very valid point here, and what good would it do, to let it weigh us down, all that we did or did not do? There is no going back and changing it and there is no good to come from beating ourselves up over what cannot be helped. Many women have found solace in what Tillie was not afraid to write about and Linda Pratt hit the nail on the head when she said of Tillie Olsen’s body of work, “the women in Olsen's vision were survivors who found powerful moments of self-realization in which their creative spirits transcended the bonds of poverty, mind-numbing chores, and the absolute demands of small children.” (1997). These days it is not just the women who are taking on the responsibilities of being a single parent, men have willingly stepped into the fray in many cases, and are now experiencing firsthand the struggles that naturally follow. In a study to try and
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Tomlinson 4 measure the health affects of single-father parenting they found that one of the many outcomes is a lack of social opportunities, which can cause feelings of social isolation and distress, (Janzen, Green, & Muhajarine, 2006). I believe that this demonstrates the value that men could also find in her stories, as single parents, struggling and surviving. Tillie Olsen was more than aware of this outcome, she was battling against it with everything she had Another telling line from her interview was: “Much else was happening in my life that I was-- I always carried a-- a 3x5, a couple of file cards, and when I didn't have time, which was always, I would make just a note about something that somebody was saying. I was keeping my writer self alive, my confidence in myself.” (Olsen, 1998). Even though she felt that her life and those of her children were often guided by things out of her control, writing was important enough to her to keep doing it, however and whenever she could. But she felt this loss of connection to it deeply, and just as she hurt for Emily’s circumstances, she also hurt for Eva’s, and her own. Eva was well aware of the trauma which was visited upon Emily, as a result of their situation. She laments the fact that she was unable to comfort her, to spend time with her, and when she says “Now, when it is too late […] I get up and go to her at once at her moan or restless stirring […] The answer is always the same: No…” You feel her pain at losing the ability to connect with her, on this level, forever going forward. Emily has developed into a person who had to live without it, and now does not understand how to accept it.
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