What problems do you think Emily might have, and how might her past experiences have contributed to them? From the story "I Stand Here Ironing" Tillie Olsen

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janeyb eNotes educator| Certified Educator

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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I Stand Here Ironing

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