I Stand Here Ironing

by Tillie Olsen

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What problems might Emily have and how might her past experiences contribute to them in "I Stand Here Ironing"?

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I think that Emily is insecure and she is afraid of trying to succeed because she has been told she cannot. As Emily's mother says, Emily was, "a child seldom smiled at." That, coupled with being eclipsed by her younger sister, and being passed around to different temporary homes when she was younger couple to make Emily have low self esteem. When she was younger, since her mother couldn't provide for her, she probably felt like no one wanted her.

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