A sampling of jolliness

Lest you think I have been exaggerating the depressing nature of my recent readings, a sampling of views on motherhood:

"'God, when will you create a woman who will be fulfilled in herself, a full human being, not anybody's appendage? [...]After all I was born alone and I shall die alone.* What have I gained from all this? Yes, I have many children, but what do I have to feed them on? On my life. I have to work myself to the bone to look after them, I have to give them my all. And if I am lucky enough to die in peace, I even have to give them my soul. [...] When will I be free?'

But even in her confusion she knew the answer: 'Never, not even in death'" ("The Joys of Motherhood" 236).

~ ~ ~

"Another year is past; and I am weary of this life. And yet, I cannot wish to leave it: whatever afflictions assail me here, I cannot wish to go and leave my darling in this dark and wicked world alone, without a friend to guide him through its wicked mazes, to warn him of its thousand snares, and guard him from the perils that beset him on every hand" ("The Tenant of Wildfell Hall" 327).


*See Arcite in Chaucer's "Knight's Tale."

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