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PDF Name: I Stand Here Ironing PDF
No. of Pages: 6
PDF Size: 35 KB
Category: eBooks & Novels
Source: Drive Files
Author: Tillie Olsen
I Stand Here Ironing PDF Summary
The unidentified narrator, a mother, is ironing while on the phone with an unknown person, most likely a social worker, teacher, or counsellor. As she examines the warning comment offered by this outside entity, the mother compares the back-and-forth motion of the iron to her own thought process. The person has requested the narrator to aid him or her in understanding the narrator’s daughter, Emily, a young lady in need of support, according to the person. The narrator sighs, unsure of what she can do to improve the situation. She feels that just because she is Emily’s mother, she has no particular insight into her conduct. The narrator fears being engrossed with the situation’s abstractions, all the things she should have done or those things she can’t change. The narrator recalls Emily’s attractiveness as an infant, then her awkward era, and finally her developing beauty in her late teens.
The narrator says she breastfed Emily, then wonders why she mentions it first in her argument to the unidentified “you.” The narrator was obliged to leave Emily in the care of a neighbour when she was eight months old. Emily’s father had abruptly departed, unable to cope with the family’s poverty. The narrator remembers rushing home from work to pick up Emily, who would constantly cry when she saw her. Emily was eventually transferred to live with her father’s family by the narrator. When Emily was two, she was restored to her mother’s care, but the narrator worked long hours and had Emily put in day care. The narrator is still enraged that she didn’t have any other options. Emily would make up any reason to remain home with her mother from nursery school. The narrator remembers an elderly neighbour gently advising her to smile more at Emily. The narrator was more cheerful with her other four children, and she believes she is to blame for Emily’s melancholy demeanour.
I Stand Here Ironing PDF
Emily has a gift for humour and acting, despite her reserved demeanour. Emily’s mother remembers sending daughter away for the second time, and Emily’s return, this time adapting to a new stepfather. Emily was often left alone by the narrator and her second husband for long periods of time. When the narrator went to the hospital to birth another daughter, Susan, Emily was ill with the measles. She became underweight, fragile, and prone to nightmares as a result of the sickness. In the present, the narrator attempts to console Emily, but it is too late. Emily was placed to a convalescent centre because she had TB at another period in her life and needed better care. Because all the parents were prevented from approaching too near to their children, the narrator had to call at Emily, who stood on a balcony some distance away, during their twice-monthly visits. Emily was thin, distant, and stiff when she got home, and she had lost her appetite. She despised her appearance, had few friends, and had little success gaining the attention of guys. Emily’s manufactured illnesses meant she was often absent from school, and she was dubbed a “slow learner” as a result.
Emily and Susan would play together in rare moments of quiet. Aside from that, the females were at odds. Susan would recount one of Emily’s jokes in front of the group, to everyone’s delight and appreciation. Emily’s physical growth was gradual as a teenager, and her self-esteem problems worsened. Ronnie, the narrator’s baby son, wakes her awake from her daydream, and she cradles him. She picks up where she left off in her investigation of Emily’s life, acting as mother to her four younger siblings during and after WWII, and assisting in getting the jumbled brood off to school, where Emily was lost in her lessons. Emily, who excels in impersonations and comedic acts, competed and won the school talent contest with the help of the narrator. She broke down in tears when she called the narrator at work to break the news. Emily started playing in a variety of venues and quickly established herself as a skilled performer. Her promise, however, went unrealized due to a lack of funds and support to help her develop her gift.
Emily comes home and prepares a meal for herself in the current day of the novel. Emily will be OK exactly the way she is, the narrator tells the person she is speaking to. She then goes on to discuss the several reasons Emily had a difficult upbringing and expresses her hope that Emily would grow to see herself as a wonderful creation.