The story “ I Stand Here Ironing” tells a story about the unfortunate circumstances a mother faces while raising her daughter, Emily. She tries to explain the complexity of her daughter to the concerned character on the other end of the phone. The circumstances that the narrator was forced through strained her relationship with her daughter, as well as the development of Emily herself.
As the narrator is on the phone with the unnamed, concerned character, she is ironing, while “moves tormented back and forth with the iron”(312). This tells a lot about the narrator. Ironing is one of the many tasks that a wife and mother is expected to do. The character on the phone wishes the narorater would make time to see him or her in person to discuss Emily, and although the mother does find it pointless, she doesn't have time. Even with a new husband, rather than being a single mother, she is still a busy woman. That leaves little time for Emily and her four other children. She is also pacing her iron during the conversation, showing that she is uncomfortable with the subject that they are discussing, which is mainly Emily's childhood, and why she is who she is today.
The mother feels responsible for the way her daughter has turned out. She explains on the phone how bright and enthusiastic her daughter was when she was a baby, and her tone shows a sense of pride for her child and it shows how much potential she saw in her infant. She uses the word “love” repeatedly when she says her daughter “ loved motion, loved color, and music, and textures” (312).She shows a bright, positive connotation, and shows her daughter was once full of passion. She wasn't born somber, but she developed into a somber teenager. She feels she didn't have the opportunity to spend quality time with her daughter because she was busy trying to hold a job and provide for her daughter. Knight 2
The circumstances were simply unfortunate. The mother can not...