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I Stand Here Ironing

I Stand Here Ironing


by Tillie Olsen

Analysis: Narrator Point of View

Who is the narrator, can she or he read minds, and, more importantly, can we trust her or him?

First Person (Central Narrator)

Except for a few scraps of dialogue here and there, the story is told from inside the narrator's head. Its logic is governed by the narrator's train of thought. A third-person omniscient narrator, for example, might have given us a more detailed description of the narrator's home and her physical appearance, some insight into what her daughter Emily is really feeling, and more context for the story. Instead, we get a deeply personalized story, shaped not so much by the chronology of events as from the mother's mind as she flits from one worry to another.

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