There are a lot of literary elements that form the base as focused on the story interpretation. As factored on the story, the girl’s mother is seen to be having numerous activities to carry out at the expense of her parental responsibilities. As spelt out in the story, she gives every bit of excuse as to why she cannot make it to school despite her being summoned. It is equally clear from the same story that there is a poor relationship between the girl and her mother. In the normal circumstance, a mother cannot talk all that ill against her daughter unless there are hidden wrangles. One of the most outstanding literary elements observed in this context captures on the plot used in the story. The story trickles all the way from its introduction through to the conclusion in a well guided structure. Based on the order through which activities flow one after another, the author has comprehensively guided his plot so as to bring about the interpretation aspect of the story. Firstly, the story starts with remarks from the girl’s mother who is in the verge of ironing. From her statement, “I stand here ironing” (Tillie Olsen 292), the plot is set at significant point. In this case, the reader is made to understand the ongoing activities in the story and what to expect as the story proceeds. In the onset, there is an aspect of literal ironing that is taking place in the story. So as to build the plot as an element of literature, the narrator sets a plot characterized with busy schedules of activities.
The literal art of ironing may be figuratively used by the narrator to create a sense of tight and busy schedules within the story. In a more steady approach, the author’s opening remarks forms a very significant point in the plot of the story. So as to build the plot, the narrator has additionally used vast activities and events so as to keep track of the story within it theme and still pass out the intended message. A case in point is observed when the narrator introduces Emily and Rose in the story. Based on the theme, the narrator uses this juncture in plot to explain the natural behavior of students while in school. With specific point of reference, the two are both ladies as spelt out in the story. The narrator uses these two ladies to ensure consistence of the plot based on the first point where a parent was summoned over her daughter’s form of messy life.
On the same note, the narrator has used the plot to clearly show the various problems that were faced by girls especially when in school. At one point in the plot, Emily is portrayed as one of the girls who faced a lot of school challenges. At first, she is seen to be facing a lot of academic problems constituted by her inability to learn quickly: "slow learner" (Tillie Olsen 295). The narrator has deliberately incorporated this instant as part of the plot so as to make rich his theme of academics in the story. More information has equally cropped up in the plot to help streaming the flow of events one after another in the story.
Another literary element that the narrator has used to help in the interpretation of the story is based in the themes used. First, there is a well pronounced theme of personal commitment. Based on the story, it is evidently clear as a response given by the girl’s mother that her state of ironing forms part of her personal commitment. From the phrase “. . . . .I stand here ironing. . . . .” (Tillie Olsen 292), there is proof that the mother is so committed to her personal chores to the expense of her daughter in school. In as much as she has been summoned to give contributions pertaining to her daughter who is yet to be discussed in the school, she gives various excuses for not attending to such calls. Additionally, Emily is portrayed as a girl who knows well to be engaged with relationship affairs but not academic issues. From this point of view, the narrator has succeeded in using the theme of personal commitment to help the in the interpretation of the essay.
Additionally, the theme of irresponsibility can be pointed out from these two set of examples. As used in the story, it can be seen that the mother to the girl is totally irresponsible in the sense that she cannot respond and see her daughter in school when summoned. From her arguments, it is clear that she is just but an irresponsible mother. “. . . .Who needs help:' Even if I came, what good would it do? You think because 1am her mother I have a key. . . .” (Tillie Olsen 295). The use of this theme in the story helps provide clear interpretations based on the basic facts observed in the essay. The theme of irresponsibility has comprehensively been used in the story so as to reflect mostly about the essence upon which characters take their responsibilities for granted. In this scope of check,
Emily has also been shown as an irresponsible student based on her inability to work hard and score better grades as a sole duty of a student. As can be assembled in literary scope, the narrator has successfully employed the theme of irresponsibility to help describe the essence of what is taking place in the story. An additional theme that has equally formed part of the literary elements of interpretation in the story is education. Education as a thematic factor of concern appears widely across the entire story. From the beginning when the girl’s mother is summoned to school for the sake of her daughter, she is reluctant to respond to the call. From this point, the theme of education it is clearly brought about by the narrator. As an element of literature, the narrator uses this style of literature to bring forth a solid interpretation of the story. There is much more about education that the narrator has dwelt in. Much about Emily’s education background has equally been put into focus based on the theme of education.
Another quite important element of literature that has helped bring out interpretive aspect of this story is based on its narrative base of presentation. From this approach, the narrator has used simple word thus putting more emphasis on the key elements of the story. As reflected, narrative skills helps much in the interpretation aspect of any literature piece. In the story, the narrator has helped trace the plot in a systematic way thus helping form the interpretation framework of the story.
Tillie Olsen's "I Stand Here Ironing": A Study Guide from Gale's "Short Stories for Students" 1961