How are the relationships similar and different in Tillie Olsen’s “I Stand Here Ironing” and Amy Tan’s “Two Kinds."

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Both short stories—“I Stand Here Ironing” by Tillie Olsen, published in 1961, and “Two Kinds” by Amy Tan, published in 1989—discuss a mother-daughter relationship, and in the description of these relationships, several similarities and differences become obvious. While Olsen’s work is told from the point of view of the mother, Tan's story is told from the point of view of the mother. As such, any comparison of the relationships depicted in the stories should bear this differing point of view in mind and consider how it affects the storytelling and the reader’s understanding of the relationship.

Both stories show a troubled relationship between mother and daughter, with layers of regret, guilt, disappointment, and distance. Both stories are told with the perspective of hindsight, and we can see the long-lasting effect of bitterness, regret, and sadness on the relationship between the mothers and daughters. The mother in Olsen’s story knows that if she reflects too long...

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