She refuses to to come meet the figure from her school, however.
We see she is guilty of neglect towards Emily and is distressed due to poor decisions that she had made rearing her daughter. In particular, the narrator seems to understand her story as one of a female. We see her stiffness towards all that care for her, her quietness in her daily duities, and her feelings of worthlessness towards herself.
Emily insists that her mother not wake her the next morning for school, even though she has mid-terms, since the atomic bomb will destroy everyone soon anyway, making mid-terms irrelevant.
Though the narrator did not always believe Emily's claims, she regularly allowed the girl to stay home nevertheless.
What does it matter if Emily and her mother are individuals, when at any moment, they can be crushed and destroyed, either by oppressive outside forces or nuclear war?
This lack of control could be particularly true for a female author in Olsen's time, since a woman's work could be seriously limited and marred by oppressive cultural forces. For more information on choosing credible sources for your paper, check out this blog post. As Emily grows older, the mother is regretful of the way Emily has grown up.