Family: American Dream and Mother Essay example

Submitted By reiwang
Words: 1699
Pages: 7

Literary Analysis
Living in Families- Mother’s Love
Li Wang

In the society today, many of daughters stay away from their mothers when they have to go into a better environment, and get higher education status as well in order to fulfill the social status. Most of the mothers always give their children what they were unable to have in their childhood. Being a mother is a great experience in a woman’s life. However, being a mother is also faced with lots difficult choices when it comes to raising a family, especially in a single mother’s family. In the story “I Stand Here Ironing” by Tillie Olsen shows that a young single mothers’ reflection on her life, which is swarming with regrets and struggle as she tries to raise her daughters. The mother feels that she did what a mother has to do in order to raising her younger children, but only made mistakes concerning her first child - Emily. When Emily only was five year-old, her mother sent Emily with her father’s family while she worked nights at a job. Most of all, her mother regretted sending Emily away during her childhood. When she looks at Emily’s life, she wishes she could have done more for her during her childhood. “She was a miracle to me, but when she was eight months old I had to leave her day times with a woman who lives downstairs to whom she was no miracle at all.” (Olsen 299). Emily’s mother regretted her decision to have the women who live downstairs babysitting Emily while she was working or looking for a job. She felt she lack the responsibility of being a mother. However, “I was 19, it was the pre-relief, pre-WPA would of the depression.” (Olsen 299). The poverty of the Great Depression clearly was a major influence to what went on in the Emily’s household. Emily’s mother had no choice but work, as she needed to maintain her life under such a bad economics situation. The mother sacrifices being with Emily as a young child in order to continue to provide for her family and experience with major necessities; food and shelter. She had to send her to a better place in order to protect her. Emily’s mother never will give up; she struggles to balance raising a daughter and working to sustain a household. These highlight her perseverance and strength, as she can handle and control both duties. In fact that she was a young mother in the first place and the expectations of those around her. “I did it. I won, I won; they gave her first prize” (Olsen303). This is a prime example of mother’s love, even though her mother was lost in what to do for Emily; she still encouraged her to make something of herself. “Suddenly she was somebody” (Olsen303). In the end, Emily’s mother decides to “let her be” and again shows her mother’s love as she hopes that Emily will come to know “that she is more than this dress on the ironing board, helpless before the iron” (Olsen304). She hoped that Emily would realize that she is more than her childhood. The way the mother thinks expresses the sorrow and burden she feels which amplifies the characters personality and how her mistakes contrast society’s ideals and expectations. However, in the different way of the story “Everyday Use”-Mrs. Johnson, a hard working African American mother of Maggie and Dee who was guilty in a way that she has parented her daughters. Dee, the older daughter who is arrogant and judgmental of her family was educated a high standard of learning and successful. During her baby sister- Maggie, who is meek and shy still lived with her mother in the countryside. On the contrary, Maggie has got used to the country life but has had a more difficult youth than Dee. It seems that she was never self-confident, probably because of living in Dee's shadow, however, after a house fire burned her body badly cause her lack of confidence got worse. Mama describes Maggie as walking with her "chin on chest, eyes on ground, feet in shuffle, ever since the fire" (Walker316). Although the fire has had a