I stand here ironing, and what you have asked me moves tormented back and forth with the iron" (McQuade 73). Emily's mother was asked by what seems to be a therapist, if she could help them understand her daughter because she needed help (73). I think the real reason her mother is tormented, is because she knows that Emily has potential and she has not seen or done anything about it, Emily's beauty and talents are hidden not only from the rest of the world but also to herself.
Emily never complained when she went to nursery school like the rest of the children in her family. She never directly protested, never rebelled (74). When her mother thought of her other children, their explosions, tempers, denunciations and demands, she felt suddenly ill (74). Emily's mother felt ill because she had demanded such good behavior of Emily. If Emily's mother felt suddenly ill does that mean she felt guilty for her actions? Emily always had found some reason to stay home, and always asked so nicely if they could "please stay home momma" (74).
Emily's mother took full advantage of that and never rewarded Emily for her good behavior; and she never saw it for what it really was. Instead of having a child that was always providing reasons why she shouldn't go to school, what Emily's mother really had was a very well behaved child. Emily's mother never saw it for what it really was, she did not reward Emily for it. So Emily did not know that she was even being well behaved.
Emily was a beautiful baby, but she lost that beauty while growing up. She was thought to be "homely" for many years, but she was now beautiful to the seeing eye (73). The...