I Stand Here Ironing Essay

Topics: Fiction, Short story, Style Pages: 3 (993 words) Published: February 3, 2015
Joe Sugg

Essay – ​
I Stand Here Ironing

AP English 4

1-17-15
Essay Prompt

Using the short story ​
I Stand Here Ironing​
, write an essay in which you analyze the narrative
techniques and other resources of language Olsen uses to characterize the mother and the mother’s attitudes toward her daughter. In addition to the text, consider background information presented, including the PowerPoint and the interview with the writer.

***************************************************************************************** “She was a beautiful baby,” (1) the mother gushes in the beginning of the short story ​ I Stand
Here Ironing​
. However the turns into “thin, dark and foreign-looking” (3) as the mother tells the tale of her daughter Emily. Tillie Olsen utilizes many narrative techniques and other sources of language such as interior monologue, repetition and metaphors to convey the mother's feelings towards her daughter, Emily, in the short story ​

I Stand Here Ironing​
. These techniques and
resources of language that Olsen uses helps to characterize the mother and her attitude towards her daughter.
The short story is told from a first-person point-of-view of the mother who receives a call from someone that is unknown to the reader. The reader is then taken on a journey through the mother’s interior monologue, a conversation going on inside her head. This stream-of-consciousness brings the reader back to the very beginning of when Emily was born up until the present. The writers use of interior monologue brings a whole other layer to this story and elicits the feelings that the mother has toward her daughter and it shows the reader the almost angry guilt the mother feels about her daughter. The mother tells, or rather thinks, about Emily growing up and all the things she ​

had​
to do but that she didn't always want to. For instance, when the mother says, “...I had to bring her to family and leave her” (1), the key word is ​ had ​
to....
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