I Stand here Ironing/ Everyday Use
Identifying a mother would seem to be an easy task, give birth to a child. Society claims, that's what make's you a mother. However, a true mother has a bond, relationship, and ultimatly a deeper meaning. Tille Olsen describes in I stand here Ironing a young mother with enormous responsibility. This mother tries to balance a relationship with her children, hardships of a single parent, and living through the depression. This mother is unnamed and is only identified through the story as the mother. Alice Walker's character Mama in Everyday Use is a different type of mother. Mama is a strong, passionate woman. Her relationships with her two daughter are quiet different. These two mother's are extremly opposite of one another when it comes to the relationship's that they have with their children and the economic time where the stories take place. However, the one key compponet they do have, they are both single parents.
The mother, a character by Olsen, is a young 19 year old mother when she had her first daughter Emily. As a new mother you want to do everything right, she followed the advise of books. Emily was 8 months old when her father left and her mother found work, so she was watch by the lady down stairs. The mother wasn't happy about leaving Emily with anyone. I would start running as soon as I got off the streetcar, running up the stairs, the place smelling sour, and awake or asleep to startle awake, when she saw me she would break into clogged weeping that could not be comforted, a weeping I can hear yet.(291) Mother was working days at her job and decided to start on night so that she could spend the day with Emily. The system of work and taking care of emily hardly lasted. The mother sent her to his family and left here there. When life got better for mother, she raised the money for Emily's fare back. when she finally came , I hardly knew her, walking quick and nervous like her father, looking like her father, thin,and dressed in a shoddy red that yellowed her skin and glared at the pockmarkes.(291) The mother was worried about Emily because she was so thin, frail, and sickly. As time went on the mother took advise and sent emily away again, this time to a convelesent home. The mother was advised that Emily would receive the care she needed. Sending a child away would only convince them that they are not wanted. Creating a strong bond early with your child will help them keep that connection to you. The mother voided this bond with her daughter.
A single parent often have harder struugles raising children on there own. Balancing being a mother, worker, housekeeper can be challenging. The mother was abbandoned of her help very early on in motherhood. her father left me before she was a year old.(296) The mother did marry again, only to be abbandoned again, her new husband was taken by war. The mother was once again left alone to raise the children.
Economic time's of destress in this world creates stress and challenging living environments for those who have to endure through it. The depression was the mother's grief, being a new mother and young in this hard economic time. I was nineteen. It was the pre-relief, pre-WPA.(The works Progress Administration)(291)The mother did re-marry only to face another ecomonic hardship, World War II. The mother was now trying to manage the house and family, alone. I would be ironing, or preparing food for the next day, or writing V-mail(Mail sent to or from members of the armed forces during World War II) to Bill.(295) Imagine what the mother was going through, not only was she young but having to raise children alone during such troubled econmoic times. The mother, a child of age, of depression, of war, of fear.
Mama, a character by Walker, is an older woman with grown daughters, the eldest Dee and younger daughter, Maggie. Mama's relationship with Maggies is a simple mother daughter relationship. Maggies lives with Mama, they keep a very simple life. They live in a small house on a pasture that they tend daily. Maggie is shy and timid, she was in a fire when there first house burned. Maggie was injured in the fire and now bears the burns all over her body, Mama rescued Maggie from the buring house and since, Maggie has followed Mama like a lost puppy. That is the way my Maggie walks. She has been like this, chin to chest, eyes on the ground, feet in shuffle, ever since the fire that burned the other house to the ground.(452) Dee, the eldest daughter and Mama's relationship is not as simple.Dee wanted nice things. A yellow organdy dress to wear to her graduation from high school; black pumps to match a green suit she'd made from an old suit somebody gave me.(453) Dee lives abroad and hardly comes home to visit. Mama know that she will never be the type of mother that Dee could imagined her to be. In relationships with more than one daughter it's not uncommon to be closer to one than the other.
Mama is an African American woman in the mits of slavery and racisum. Being a colored woman during that time would prove to be hard, especially raising a family alone. Who can imagine me looking a strange white man in the eye? It seems to me I have talked to them always with one foot raised in flight, with my head turned in whichever way is farthest from them.(452) Even though Mama is a strong woman, during these times it was always best to protect yourself and not create a seen or conflict. Mama was poor, her house told the story of that It's three rooms, just like the old one that burned, except the roof os tin; they don't make shingle roofs any more. There are no real windows, just some hole cut in the sides, like the portholes in a ship.(453) However unfair the treatment of African Americans, Mama rose above all racisum and raised her family.