Literature Study GuidesI Stand Here Ironing

I Stand Here Ironing | Study Guide

Tillie Olsen

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Course Hero. "I Stand Here Ironing Study Guide." Course Hero. 21 Sep. 2020. Web. 24 Sep. 2023. <>.

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Course Hero. "I Stand Here Ironing Study Guide." September 21, 2020. Accessed September 24, 2023.


Course Hero, "I Stand Here Ironing Study Guide," September 21, 2020, accessed September 24, 2023,



Tillie Olsen

Year Published



Short Story



Perspective and Narrator

"I Stand Here Ironing" is told by a first-person narrator. The narrator's internal dialogue and stream-of-consciousness narrative reflect the circumstances that shaped her eldest daughter's personality, abilities, and deficiencies.


"I Stand Here Ironing" uses mixed tenses. The narrator reflects on events in her child's life in the past tense and uses the present tense to address a caller who has concerns about her daughter.

About the Title

The narrator of "I Stand Here Ironing" is ironing clothes when she receives a phone call from a concerned adult who wants to discuss the narrator's daughter Emily. The narrator reflects on her parenting choices and the difficult circumstances Emily had to face in her childhood and youth.


This study guide for Tillie Olsen's I Stand Here Ironing offers summary and analysis on themes, symbols, and other literary devices found in the text. Explore Course Hero's library of literature materials, including documents and Q&A pairs.

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