Tillie Olsen's I Stand Here Ironing and Kay Boyle's Astronomers Wife

Essay by sLvRk155esUniversity, Bachelor's March 2005

download word file, 5 pages 0.0

There are many different styles of writing a story. A writer can use first, second or third person narration. In addition to this, a writer can write a story that is meant to be read to oneself or out loud. In Tillie Olsen's "I Stand Here Ironing" is written in first person while Kay Boyle's "Astronomer's Wife" is written in third person. Both these stories are ironic while "I Stand Here Ironing" is written in a guilty and reflective tone and is also autobiographical, while the "Astronomer's Wife" is written in a reflective tone. Both these stories are meant to be read to oneself. However, these stories convey a deep meaning and are both powerful short stories and written realistically. Both these stories include the theme of love and understanding.

In Tillie Olsen's "I Stand Here Ironing", a mother is torn on her thoughts of how to raise her child.

Was it only her mothers' fault or that of society as well, that Emily had such a troubled life and continued to experience difficulties as an adult. I don't believe that anyone has the ability to be happy when they aren't allowed to love. There is no room for any relationships and friendships to begin. It seemed to me as if the mother can't see how badly Emily was being raised. After getting further into the story, it looked like Emily's mother did a better job of taking care of and raising her other children, however, what about Emily?

The mother's pain is obvious from the beginning of the story. She realized that she could have done a better job, had it not been for the circumstances and life events, which occurred following Emily's birth. For example, the father left at the very...