The Theme of Love and Loss in "I Stand Here Ironing, " Casablanca, and "Sex Without Love"

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According to the Merriam Webster dictionary, “love” is an unselfish loyal and benevolent concern for the good of another. However, doing something for the good of another may mean losing him or her. The choice of being in love is made by two individuals; however, the choice of leaving after falling in love is made by only one person. This can apply to friends, family, or significant others. There is an example of each in the stories “I Stand Here Ironing” by Tillie Olsen, Casablanca directed by Michael Curtiz, and “Sex without Love” by Sharon Olds (Patick). In all three if these stories, there is a relationship between two individuals who seem to love each other but somehow one or both of the individual’s feelings change and there is no longer love in the relationship. Tillie Olsen’s “I Stand Here Ironing” is an internal story told by the mind of a mother who reflects on choices that she made raising her now struggling daughter, Emily (Shmoop). Like all parents, Emily’s mother is infatuated with her daughter in the early stages of her life. Emily’s mother describes her as “a beautiful baby. The first and only one of our five that was beautiful at birth” (Olsen). One day, Emily’s mother receives a call from a staff member at Emily’s school, “I wish you would manage the time to come in and talk to me about your daughter. I’m sure you can help me understand her. She’s a youngster who needs help and whom I’m deeply interested in helping,” (Olsen). From the beginning we hear the mother’s self-inculpating thoughts of all she “did or did not do,” (Mother-Daughter). Emily was born into an unfortunate surrounding during the Great Depression and, at the early age of eight months, her mother must leave her in the care of a woman whom Emily doesn’t favor (Mother-Daughter, Coulehan). She thinks back to when her husband left her and realizes that is the time when she began

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