I believe that the cottage is a symbol of 18th century life, it has a stable with a few butter churns, which gives me the impression that the Burns family had a small dairy business to keep income at a stable level (no pun intended) during the winter months
The living quarters – kitchen; bedroom; living room – are extremely small compared to today’s houses. This would have made for a tight-knit family that would have to work well as a unit to function.
The mother’s chair gives life to the stereotype that women have to multitask, as when sitting on the chair she would often be holding one of her children, cooking and possibly weaving. Overall I believe that the cottage both symbolises and brings to life Burns’ humble upbringing.