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Blog#2- “I Stand Here Ironing” By Tillie Olsen October 25, 2007

Filed under: Uncategorized — Meaghan @ 5:59 pm


Tillie Olsen, Author of “I Stand Here Ironing”

Personally after reading this story I took the Marxist approach as opposed to the feminist approach. For me it seems as though this story definitely emphasizes what was going on in society at the time; the separations between the rich and the poor, attention to materialistic things, and images of what people and children should look like. The child Emily in the story grows up in a time where only the rich got richer and the poorer got poorer. Her Mother and her do not have a close relationship and she ends up being a quiet, shy child. However in the end of the story Emily finds a new passion for acting and comedy, she finds something she is good at and that can relieve her of her shyness. Overall I can say that I view this story with the Marxist approach, again the struggle in class and the relationship between the self and the demands of the society is what causes me to approach the story in this way.


Karl Marx, co-founder of Marxism

As far as a critical approach to the story “The Yellow Wallpaper”  I would look at it through the feminist approach. The reason for this is that all through the story the restraints that are put on the main character, who is a woman, are inflicted by men. The story was written in the nineteenth century by Charlotte Perkins-Gilman, and is said to be loosely based on her own personal experiences. All throughout the story the woman is told by her husband and her doctor who is also a male that she is ‘mentally ill’, and that she needs to ‘rest’, rest to them meaning for her not to do anything at all, not to write, not to exercise her mind or her body. These restraints eventually lead the character to become worse in her symptoms rather than better. Overall the female character is controlled by men, in both her marriage and her health. The men say what she can and cannot do and the tell her what is good for her and what is bad for her, and they do not listen to what she has to say. Clearly there is a domination of women by men present in the story “The Yellow Wallpaper”, which is why I personally would take the feminist approach when reading and interpreting this story.