Everything you need to understand or teach I Stand Here Ironing by Tillie Olsen.
Olsen's "I Stand Here Ironing" is a monologue, a speech delivered by a narrator with whom the reader comes to identify. In the first few lines the narrator explains what she is doing—ironing—and what she is responding to—a request that she meet with a school official about her daughter, now nineteen years old. The occasion prompts her to recall her daughter's childhood and the effect she had on the girl as her mother. All the while she continues to iron, drawing parallels for herself and the reader between telling the story and ironing the wrinkles from a dress.
At the outset the mother confesses her power-lessness over her daughter, asking "You think because I am her mother I have a key, or that in some way you could use me as a key?" She is worried that if she is asked to recall those early days of parenting she... View more of the I Stand Here Ironing Summary