"I Stand Here Ironing" And "Fever Flower" Mother Daughter Relationships
3 pages in length. The shared theme in Tillie Olsen's I Stand Here Ironing and Shirley Ann Grau's Fever Flower draws upon the mother/daughter relationship and how –- in light of emotional, economic and social stumbles that preclude a psychologically healthy upbringing – forever shape the confused and disappointed views portrayed by the characters. Raising a child, as Olsen's protagonist clearly points out, is fraught with unseen challenges just waiting to trip up even the best intentions; when poverty and culturally-imposed mandates interfere with the unidentified mother's capacity to meet such overwhelming challenges with heartfelt love as her only resource, the only viable alternative is to sever the mother/daughter relationship. Grau, who by comparison illustrates how just the opposite situation can be equally ineffective in raising an emotionally stable child, makes it clear how wealth and status are not ingredients for a stable, nurturing home life, particularly when the mother is emotionally absent from her own daughter's developmental years. Bibliography lists 1 source.