Olsen, Tillie. Primary “Aren’t you ever going to finish the ironing, mother? In “I Stand Here Ironing,” not much happens: the narrator irons some dresses and. Use our free chapter-by-chapter summary and analysis of I Stand Here Ironing. It helps middle and high school students understand Tillie Olsen’s literary. Free summary and analysis of the events in Tillie Olsen’s I Stand Here Ironing that won’t make you snore. We promise.

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Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Want to Read saving…. Want to Read Currently Stanf Read. Refresh and try again. Itoning Preview See a Problem? Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. A mother looks back at her troubled relationship with her eldest daughter in this quiet and devastating story. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

To ask hers readers questions about I Stand Here Ironingplease sign up. Lists with This Book. This book is not yet featured on Listopia. May 12, Joselito Honestly and Brilliantly rated it it was amazing. It is necessary to know a little something about the author, Tillie Olsen. She was born poor, in Omaha into a couple who had fled Czarist Russia to escape persecution. She had to quit school in her 11th grade to work. She married young, had olswn daughter, and then her husband deserted them.

This is said to read like an autobiography so what it says is probably true: He said goodbye through a letter where he wrot It is necessary to know a little something about the author, Tillie Olsen.

He said goodbye through a letter where he wrote that he “could no longer endure sharing want with them. A dropout, a young mother, poor–how did she become an author and tiolie did Stanford University awarded her a creative-writing fellowship when her youngest child began schooling? She continued her education reading up in public libraries.

I Stand Here Ironing

A heroic act considering her difficult circumstances. In her “Silences” was published–a study of why writers, especially women writers, dry up.

This starts with a sentence only uroning mother could write: It starts her soliloquy of rage, complaints, helplessness, self-exoneration, guilt, hsre, pride, despair, love, self-pity, til,ie she talks about her first born and as she losen her family’s clothes. This daughter of hers was a beautiful baby, she says, and she nursed her, but when she was 8 months old she had to leave itllie during daytimes to a stranger downstairs because she had to work, and then her husband left them.

Her young daughter suffered years of neglect, which she couldn’t help, because she was poor, young and had no money. He remembers incidents, like when her daughter didn’t want to go to school, suffering from some uncertain torture there, or when she pleads one day for her to stay home with her more often, when she became skeleton thin because she wouldn’t eat, her frequent nightmares at night, her noticeable lack of friends, her unrequited little crushes, her absentmindedness and failure to cope with school lessons, and she knew it was because she couldn’t give much attention and care to her eldest since there are other small children she must take care of apart from her need to work to bring food to the table and do housework and be a wife to her second husband.


This is gut-wrenching prose. For it is in the nature of every mother to want tillei give everything to her child and for her to be put in a situation that she can give only very little, as she watch her child suffer, is like a most cruel flagellation. I love this story, at first, it might be a bit difficult to understand if you just read the story.

I Stand Here Ironing

But, think of the age of Depression. Or any economic depression in every country every place. Just watch the movie! 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? 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. I especially love that part. Every depression, every torment the mother and Emily had been through.

I Stand Here Ironing by KnowledgeNotes

And how Emily struggled to become who she is now and take her courage to stand out. Her past explain the reason why Emily was like this itllie, and how she had hers this way.

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. Control the life, and never bend by it.

Dec 29, Onaiza Khan rated it it was amazing Shelves: Well, first of all, it’s a super quick read. Within twenty minutes, it takes you through the touching story of Emily a little girl’s life. And secondly it’s so heart-breaking, it can sure make you cry. I think it’s a must read for every woman.

I Stand Here Ironing (KnowledgeNotes Student Guides)

Dec 15, shyla rated it it was amazing. Stand Here Ironing is one of my top short stories. The whole book however, is just as compelling. Truly, one of the first women to write so eloquently about like in the working class. Her ability to change character perspectives paragraph to paragraph in impressive. American Literature wouldn’t be the same syand it didn’t have Tillie Olsen in its canon. Aug 31, Sol rated it really liked it. The story really isn’t that great if you don’t know about the difficulties of society back when it was written.

This one was written in the days of the Great Depression and Feminist movement, and it reflects how families were affected due to these historical events. Really interesting piece of work. Feb 28, Jennifer Terranova rated it it was amazing. One of my all time favorite pieces of literature.

No matter how many times I return to it, I am crying jere the end of the fourth paragraph. Mother-love, at both ends of the spectrum: Jun 13, Cathi rated it it was amazing. This story is a quiet, simple one, just a mother reflecting on her oldest daughter’s life and the mistakes unintentional and impossible to prevent much of the time she’s made as a mother.


It’s absolutely gut-wrenching for me, though. No matter how much we try, we all have regrets and sorrows in our mothering.

Mine are nothing compared to the woman in this story, yet the musings of this character tugged at my heartstrings. Such a beautiful story, packed with incredible emotion in just a few pag This story is a quiet, simple gillie, just a mother reflecting on her oldest daughter’s life and the mistakes unintentional and impossible to prevent much of the time she’s made as a mother.

Such a beautiful story, packed with incredible emotion in just a few pages! Mar 10, JN Gomez rated it it was amazing. I Stand Here Ironing is a short story written by Tillie Olson, published in among a collection of other short stories titled “Tell me a Riddle”. I would describe it as a drama which focuses on olse hardships a mother has to endure as she raises her eldest daughter Emily. The mother had Emily at just 19 years of age.

Emily’s father left her to raise the girl on her own. The mother talks about the hardships Emily I Stand Here Ironing is a short story written by Tillie Olson, published in among a collection of other short stories titled “Tell me a Riddle”. The mother talks about the hardships Emily had to endure as a child. She was often left at home with a sitter or sent to school while her mom searched for ironnig job.

The mother tried k best to raise her, but she was a distracted parent who couldn’t always support her daughter’s needs. Emily didn’t have the qualities which were treasured in the ironign s. She wasn’t blonde or chubby like Shirley Temple the exemplary child back thennor quick or smart at school. She ate little and had a frail, dark-skinned body. Several times the mother had the chance to show love to Emily. Most times she hee to give it, and by the time she realized her mistake, it was too late.

Emily became resistant to receive affection, only seldom appreciating it. Apart from this, she also had to fight for attention between her four other younger siblings. The mother expresses her remorse for not being the parent she should have. We learn about Emily’s life from when she was born to when she is I had never read a story by Tillie Olson, yet I loved this one.

Tillie had a very distinctive writing style, the voice, the rhythm, and tone of her method being very captivating. She expressed herself in short, simple sentences which contained complex meanings. This quality was a double-edged sword: I Stand Here Ironing is a wonderful short novel, recommended to anyone who wants a new taste stqnd their literature or just ironinh about this mother’s touching reflection of her past. I highly suggest you re-read it many times, in order to take the most out of this story.

Jun 06, Henry Yan rated it really liked it Shelves: