What attitude toward life or view of the world emerges in the last paragraph of the story in "I stand here ironing" ?

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sagetrieb eNotes educator| Certified Educator

A psychologist, Melanie Klein, who studied relationships between infants and mothers, came to a conclusion that being a “good enough mother” consists of doing what one can in good faith but not demanding perfection in nurturing. This, she argued, produces a happy parent-child relationship and a healthy child as well.  The narrator comes to a similar conclusion at the end of her musing. Knowing her daughter might not be all she (the mother) hopes for her, or that the daughter will satisfy all of her own dreams, the mother concludes, “there is still enough to live by.”  The mother does, however, want that her daughter will not be like the “dress on the ironing board, helpless before the iron.”  In this simile she uses metonymy to equate her daughter with a dress, and implicitly compares the hardships of life to an “iron” which could flatten her, to say she does not want her daughter to be beleaguered by the vagaries and hardships particular to a woman’s life.

renelane eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The mother finds that her poverty, constraints of motherhood, and household responsibilities have put limitations on her potential to break free. She sees her daughter start to settle for the same circumstances, and makes a wish that she will be able to break free of the limitations.

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I Stand Here Ironing

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