Meaningless Names - English Final

Topics: Family, Boy, Doris Lessing Pages: 4 (1499 words) Published: December 3, 2012
Meaningless Names

The following stories, “I Stand Here Ironing” by Tillie Olsen, a story about a mother who goes back and forth through her life with her daughter Emily. Emily’s mother is shown as heartless when sending her daughter away, or not replying to her night terrors, dehumanizing her within the text, her name isn’t mentioned in a way to represent this further. In the story “Through the Tunnel” by Doris Lessing, a story about a boy (Jerry) becoming a man, and having to forget what others think and swim through the tunnel successfully, in the story Jerry’s mother is nameless as she is holding him back, her concerns are shown to be invisible when she asks about his head injury. Jerry’s mother is shown as fragile and over-caring towards her son, she isn’t named so that we don’t think of her much further then the details of her character. The story, “Boys and Girls” by Alice Munro, describes feelings of a young girl who’s trying to shape her life, and grow up. The narrator tells the story of this girl whom lives in the fox farm with her family, in a very scheduled world created by her father; the narrator (the young girl) is nameless while her brother is named, showing the invisible social norms teaching the children into becoming gendered adults. Nameless characters are often used to describe ones character by “mysterious”, or to say they’re “means of letting the mind wonder”, as well as symbolizes their unimportance and/or to dehumanizing of one’s character. Emily’s mother in “I Stand Here Ironing”, Jerry’s mother in “Through the Tunnel” and the narrator girl in “Boys and Girls” suggest their character to be invisible, because they are nameless.

The story “I Stand Here Ironing” by Tillie Olsen portrays a mother who had to give up her adolescence to raise and support a child, Emily. Emily’s mother had to send Emily away often, to a rehabilitation center for her weight and eating habits, or her father’s relatives, when she didn’t have the means to...
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