To what extent is Emily's mother a "good" mother in Tillie Olsen's "I Stand Here Ironing"?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

In "I Stand Here Ironing" by Tillie Olsen, the mother of Emily, who loves her daughter, delights in remembering what a beautiful baby she was and how Emily loved motion, light, color, music, and textures.  Yet, she feels guilty for having to had put the girl in a "nursery."

While she had Emily in a nursery, the mother was ill at ease.  As she continues her monologue , the mother tells of the place where Emily spent time recuperating from red measles.  She also says, "It took us eight months to get her released home," a statement which implies that the mother is caring.  After Emily is home, sometimes the mother keeps her out of school so that Emily and...

(The entire section contains 360 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Start your 48-Hour Free Trial
Approved by eNotes Editorial Team

Posted on