I Stand Here Ironing Themes

This Study Guide consists of approximately 45 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of I Stand Here Ironing.
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The issue of the boundary between the individual identities of the mother and daughter is raised early in the story. The narrator seems disturbed by the idea of being asked to help someone understand her daughter: "You think because I am her mother I have a key, or that in some way you could use me as a key? She has lived for nineteen years. There is all that life that has happened outside of me, beyond me." Yet, even as the narrator questions "what good" her insights into her daughter are, she also lays claim to a special knowledge of her daughter, more complete than that of any hypothetical questioner: "You did not know her all those years she was considered homely."

The story presents the identities of both mother and daughter as incomplete, still in the process of "becoming." The adolescent daughter is...

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This section contains 642 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the I Stand Here Ironing Study Guide
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Short Stories for Students
I Stand Here Ironing from Short Stories for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.