Presentation on theme: "An Analysis of "I Stand Here Ironing" by Tillie Olsen "You are your child's keeper until she's mature enough to keep herself." ~Laura Ramirez Kelsey, Leela,"— Presentation transcript:
An Analysis of "I Stand Here Ironing" by Tillie Olsen "You are your child's keeper until she's mature enough to keep herself." ~Laura Ramirez Kelsey, Leela, Chaunceia
Because of a counselor's input, a mother is characterized by her hesitancy in reevaluating her daughter's upbringing and her own successes and failures as a mother, concluding that there are deeper societal issues she must contend with regarding her daughter. Theme
Anaphora Rhetorical questions Tone Repetition Simple sentences Ironing imagery Literary Devices Used to Characterize the Mother and Her Relationship with Her Daughter
"I will start and there will be an interruption and I will have to gather it all together again." (Lines 13-14) "Or I will become engulfed with all I did or did not do, with what should have been and what cannot be helped." (Lines 15-17) Responsibility on the mother Not accepting Anaphora in this section shows how hesitant the mother was in evaluating her parenting skills, and getting help from the counselor.
"Who needs help... even if I came, what good would it do?" (Lines 7-8) "You think because I am her mother I have a key, or that in some way you could use me as a key?" (Lines 8-9) Question original beliefs Denial The rhetorical questions in this section are used to show the mother's original belief that her daughter is not having any troubles.
"She was a beautiful baby. The first and only one of our five that was beautiful at birth. You do not guess how new and uneasy her tenancy in her now-loveliness" (Lines 18-20). The Contrast of an Endearing Tone and a Self Deprecating Tone Shows the Mother's Misunderstanding of Her Daughter's Relationship to Society
"She was a beautiful baby. She blew shining bubbles of sound. She loved motion, loved light, loved color and music textures" (Lines 35- 38) "I would start running as soon as I got off the streetcar, running up the stairs, the place smelling sour, and awake or asleep to startle awake, when she saw me she would break into a clogged weeping that could not be comforted, a weeping I can hear yet" (Lines 46- 51) Repetition is Used to Show the Beauty that the Mother Sees in her Daughter but Her Daughter No Longer Sees
"Why do I put that first? I do not even know it it matters, or if it explains anything" (Lines 33-34). The Mother Asks Herself Rhetorical Questions, Doubting Her Performance as a Mother
"She is so lovely. Why did you want me to come in at all? Why were you concerned? She will find her way." (lines 52-54) "Let her be. So all that is in her will not bloom--but in how many does it? There is still enough left to live by." (lines 84-86) Juxtaposition of Simple Sentences and Rhetorical Questions Establishes Hesitancy and Reevaluation
"I stand here ironing, and what you asked me moves tormented back and forth with the iron." (lines 1-2) "Help her to know... that she is more than this dress on the ironing board, helpless before the iron." (lines 86-88) Ironing as a Metaphor for Society
In the movie The Help, Skeeter and her mom have a tenuous relationship in which Skeeter's mom struggles to recognize that Skeeter's beauty lies in her non judgmental love and passionate writing rather than her fitting in with the other women of the community. Connections to Theme