Compare and contrast "I stand here ironing" and "how to talk to your mother".

Essay by cecelliagatesUniversity, Bachelor'sA+, October 2003

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Mother and Daughter, a Heavenly Relationship Failed

Daughter and mother relationship is an endless topic for many writers. They are meant to share the bond of love and care for each other. In the real world, however, their relationship is not as successful as it ought to be. The stories "How to Talk to Your Mother" and "I Stand Here Ironing" are the examples of this conflict. Lorrie Moore is distinguished for the clever wordplay, irony and sardonic humor of her fiction. "How to Talk to Your mother" is a short story in her collection Self-Help. It is about a failed relationship of a daughter and her mother over time. Similarly, Tillie Olsen's "I Stand Here Ironing" portrays powerfully the economic and domestic burdens a poor woman faced, as well as the responsibility and powerlessness she feels over her child's life. Both stories have the same theme, but each has different technique, and the conflicts from the characters are opposite.

Poor communication over time is the theme both stories share. In "How to Talk to Your Mother," Ginny, the author, faded the relationship with her mother as time goes and things changed from 1939 to 1982. In 1952, Ginny started to break away by slamming the door and say "Don't I know it" (Moore 105) when her mother asks about her crush in junior high. Then, she becomes a young adult with a new life and would not come home for holidays. However, it is not until her mother called her by her sister's name that makes she feels uncomfortable. "Learn that you have a way of knowing each other which somehow slips out and beyond the ways you have of not knowing each other at all" (Moore 103). The simply "How to" title belies...