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“…A Child of her Age, of Depression, of War, of Fear… ”: A Psychoanalytic Analysis of Emily in “I Stand Here Ironing” College
There are cases where parents can have tumultuous relationships with their children. In such cases the parents fail to understand their children’s needs. At times it becomes too late to remedy the relationship. Tillie Olsen’s short story explores the turbulent relationship between a mother and her daughter (Emily); the relationship is troubled from the time Emily eight months and it persists to the time she is nineteen years. The short story includes psychological indicators of depression and anxiety in children; a psychoanalytic analysis of Tillie Olsen’s “I Stand Here Ironing” expounds the implications of the repression childhood experiences, denial and displacement on personality.Emily’s father rejects her when she is a young man. The narrator recalls about “Emily's father, who "could no longer endure" (he wrote in his goodbye note) "sharing want with us.” Emily’s father abandons her emotionally and physically. The emotional abandonment makes Emily to develop the fear of abandonment because she is afraid that her mother will abandon her. The narrator recalls “when she saw me she would break into a clogged weeping that could not be comforted, a weeping I can hear yet. ”Emily cries after her nineteen year old mother comes from...
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