Reanalyze Motherhood in Tillie Olsen’s, I Stand Here Ironing

  •  Mohammad Abdulhadi O. Althobaiti    


The theme of motherhood remains unconcluded to date. Opposing views are recurrent even within the feminist discourse. Minimal research exists on the postmodernist interpretation of Tillie Olsen’s I Stand Here Ironing and others similar to it in regard to the concept of motherhood. The present study aims to enlighten on the multifaceted nature of the concept and encourage more scholars to engage in the discussion of the text and extend to others for rich revelations concerning the concept of motherhood. The study utilizes the textual analysis method to enable close reading of Olsen’s I Stand Here Ironing to unravel the prescriptions of motherhood as advocated for in culture. Textual analysis facilitates an intimate engagement with the thoughts, arguments, and postulations present in Olsen’s authorship. The analysis has enabled the interrogation of the numerous positions that Olsen gives her readers.

The study has introduced new insights to expand the scholarship on the concept of motherhood through the discussion of motherhood as a source of life and power. Olsen’s short story reflects the present predicaments women continue to face across the globe, especially in the third world nations. Women always find themselves at a crossroads where it appears they have to choose family or professional life. Motherhood is an important component in the creation of the female identity and hence has become increasingly inexorable to advance the concept. Choices and circumstances have empowered women to change the concept of motherhood. Unlike in the past, there is no explicit imposed definition. Subsequently, research on motherhood is far-reaching and fractured.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
  • ISSN(Print): 1925-4768
  • ISSN(Online): 1925-4776
  • Started: 2011
  • Frequency: quarterly

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