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Updated by Hanna Pitre on Mar 12, 2018
Headline for I AM your Mother
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I AM your Mother

A comparison between Tillie Olsen's, "I stand here ironing" and a few mother/daughter relationship based movies (Matilda, Freaky Friday, Panic Room.)
I will make connections between the literary text and the pop culture movies. I, myself, am a mother of two. All 4 of these texts speak to the depths of my soul...each on a different level. I hope that whoever runs across this will take out the time to read the short story and read through each of my connections. These are also three of my favorite movies of all times. I am very pleased with the outcome....hope that you are as well. :)

All images and gifs are from google.com

Source: http://producer.csi.edu/cdraney/2010/278/resources/olsen_ironing.pdf

1

Fatherless home

Fatherless home

Tillie Olsen's short story brings tears to my eyes each time I dive into it. Such a passionate yet estranged love between a mother and daughter. Tillie writes of a broken family where the father has ran out on the mother and daughter, Emily. Fatherless situations are so common and so gut wrenching to hear about. In the movie, "Panic Room," the main characters are Meg and Sarah Altman. Meg is a divorced mother and Sarah is a diabetic fatherless child. These two stories are similar in that the mother and daughter are all each other have. When 3 intruders come into Meg and Sarah Altman's home, they lock themselves in their panic room and have to rely completely on one another for their survival.

2

I do not understand you

I do not understand you

In the movie Matilda, the young girl and her mother are much like the mother and daughter in Tillie Olsen's short story. There is little to no understanding of one another. Matilda and her mother, Zinnia Wormwood, are never on the same page. Matilda experiences a childhood of rejection and mockery. She is very smart though. In, "I stand here ironing," Emily is quite different in that she is not very smart but she is very talented. Both young girls are kind of pushed away and neglected by their parents when compared to their other siblings. Matilda's brother, Mike, is the apple of his parents eyes. Just to torture Matilda, her parents actually send her off to a school that is headed by an evil principal that has a huge hatred for children. Emily's sister, Susan, takes up more of her mothers time and receives more smiles from their mother. But, while Matilda receives absolutely no love from her mother, Emily does get at least a little love from her mother. Emily can at least talk to her mom. Matilda's mother shows nothing but hate. As shown in the above gif, Matilda's mother thought that because Matilda is a girl, she would understand her, but life has shown her quite opposite.

3

I AM understood

I AM understood

I decided to compare Tillie's story to the movie, "Freaky Friday," because of how they oppose each other. In "Freaky Friday", the mother and daughter are going through the rough teenage years. BUT, they have to endure walking in each others shoes due to a crazy fortune that they received at a Chinese restaurant. They literally switch bodies and this creates a huge understanding for one another in the end. They end up bonding and growing their love to a whole new destination. It seems like he mother in Tillie's story has a lot of regret for not forcing herself to be there more for Emily when she was young. I feel as though the mother/daughter relationship between Tess and Anna in "Freaky Friday," is one that a lot of people long for. Tess has deep concerns for her daughter and is very strict on her because she actually cares about her daughters well being. In "I stand here ironing," the mother and Emily have a little opposition as well. You can tell this when the mother send Emily away to a mental institution. The mother in this situation, runs away from her problems instead of having to address them head on, like shown in "Freaky Friday".

4

Miss Honey loves me

Miss Honey loves me

Emily has a learning disability but finds a way to create a different persona that people love. I definitely think that her learning disability is part of the reason that her mother pushed her away as a young child. I also think that being in a mental institution put a huge damper on Emily and her mothers relationship. Matilda experiences similar when her father punishes her from reading and forces her to watch tv. Instead of helping these young girls to grow, I find that their biological parents hinder them. Matilda is very unique, as is Emily. Matilda's school teacher, Miss Honey, realizes this and has insight on how terrible Matilda's home life is. Matilda finds love in Miss Honey. Miss Honey adopts Matilda and is able to give her the love and support that she needs to thrive. This is one way that they are alike and different at the same time. Matilda finds the love that she needs. Whereas Emily does not. What happens in "Matilda," is so very rare but really provided awareness for the amount of children that are completely overlooked by selfish, self absorbed parents. She was able to escape and have a shot at growing up with some type of "normalcy." Both of the young girls display a type of "magical power". Matilda is telekinetic and Emily has the ability to make people laugh and smile.

5

I am accepted, I am not alone, I am AWARE

I am accepted, I am not alone, I am AWARE

All 4 of these different texts relate in their own unique ways. In "Panic Room," the mother and daughter desperately need one another to survive. In "Freaky Friday," Tess and Anna resolve their issues with one another after finding understanding. "Matilda" provides hope for children in horrible situations and shows that adoption is a great option. Tillie Olsen's short story was chosen because it speaks to me in the sense that I constantly have an internal battle with myself and my parenting. As sad as it may be, reading this story, reassures me that I really am doing everything I possibly can to make sure my daughter grows up with love and confidence. I find this story to be very inspirational in that it shows how neglecting a child in a young age, will affect how they turn out but that all hope is not always lost just because a child has a mental disability. It raises awareness for childhood development.

6

Diabetes

Diabetes

One last huge connection - Emily seems to have some sort of mental disability; possibly autism. Sarah Altman is diabetic. These two story lines show how different mothers can care for their special needs children. While Tillie Olsen's mother character pushes her daughter away and is distant from her, Meg Altman, the mother in "Panic Room," does everything she can to keep her daughter alive. During their home invasion, Sarah is desperately in need of her epi-pen. Meg begs and pleads with the home invaders to get the daughters epi-pen to them. Meg is willing to risk her life for her daughter whereas the mother in "I stand her ironing," may not be so willing to do something so drastic.