I Stand Here Ironing (Literature)

I Stand Here Ironing
By Tillie Olsen

  I Stand Here Ironing, well…you cannot deny that we often trace back our past when we’re doing house chores. I Stand Here Ironing told a story about a loving mother, who couldn’t take care her first born during the age of The Depression, and her daughter’s personality changed throughout those years. I love this story, at first, it might be a bit difficult to understand if you just read the story. But, think of the age of Depression. Or any economic depression in every country every place. It’s always a hard thing to survive during those periods let alone taking good care of your child. Just watch the movie! Even we can’t and do not hope to go through those timing, it’ll be easier to imagine with film. What else? One of the heart-broken parts of this story is that the mother is so young and alone when she needed to take care of Emily, her first born.

  Her awful husband left her when she needed him the most…only pay a tiny kindness to take care of his daughter when the mother went working. But was that a show of kindness? I don’t think so. Emily refused, or at least, showed here reluctant to visited her father. Emily had always been so tame, so willing to listen, even the life is terrible for her. She was a deep person, and that’s what matter most.

  “I don’t know if that explain anything, or if that explain everything.”

  You know what? I especially love that part. As long as you know the background, you’ll know everything. Every depression, every torment the mother and Emily had been through. And how Emily struggled to become who she is now and take her courage to stand out. It’s really touching. Her past explain the reason why Emily was like this before, and how she had become this way. It’s always a hard thing for children and teenage to find their truly self. The one and only that represent her. In the meanwhile, we need to learn, to socialize, to survive in the world. Some of us is fortunate enough with the company of family, while the other, like Emily are not. When she needed the most, Emily’s mom is never there: busy with work, try her best to raise her, taking care the new born… I won’t say Emily’s mother is a horrible mom, no. It is just the time wouldn’t allow here to be a great mom.

  “Only help her know—help make it so there is cause for her to know—that she is more than this dress on the ironing board, helpless before the iron.”
What we all need to learn from life? This will do. Iron is the life, the force, the demand, and we’re the dress under. Never bow to anything, we control the iron, and it’s in our command. Control the life, and never bend by it. We’re the master of ourselves, and you know what? Take every experience as great learning, we’ll grow better every time, no matter the good or the bad.


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