Saturday 9 May 2015

Inspirational Quotes 75

Younger children were  treated as powerless, slightly inferior members of a household, with lower-priority needs and desires. (If Walls Could Talk, Lucy Worsley)

When I think of that Latin Grammar... upon my conscience, I am surprised that we ever survived it. When one thinks of the boys who have been caned because they could not master that intolerable jargon! ... Good Lord, what a pitiful chorus these poor little creatures send up! (Christmas Books, William Makepeace Thackeray)

From Muriel Jaeger's Before VictoriaIn Maria Edgworth’s tales for children, “the idea that good behaviour always paid and bad behaviour did not must have been strongly impressed on her pupils, making their later experiences, one must suppose, somewhat bewildering”.

Rousseau’s boy hero was to be brought up in the country, out of doors nearly all the time, and mixing with the country people. He was to learn… only by experience. In fact, he was to be like the aristocrats, doing what he would and taking the consequences…

While the young of the early 19th century were expected to assimilate large quantities of miscellaneous information, there were other things that they were expected carefully to avoid knowing.

What Jane Austen thought of the learned child may be inferred from the conversations of Mary Bennett with her cruel father.

Writer Mary Mitford “would never admit that punishment and misfortune were good for people, though that was ‘the prevailing sentiment’.”

The Evangelicals thought that, due to original sin, “all children were by nature evil”, and the evil had to be beaten or starved out of them. We don’t believe in original sin any more, but libertarians still think children are “feral”, and have to be knocked into the shape of a human being who can “contribute to society”. (Nick Duffell, The Making of Them)

Human beings are distinguished from other intelligent animals by our capacity for self-reflection... it means that we are able to conceptualise the past and the future, make plans, have ideas, and think about our thinking. (Nick Duffell, The Making of Them)

From Jeffrey Eugenides' The Marriage PlotShe preferred to think of her current boyfriendless state as salutary and head-clearing. (Madeleine, the heroine, whistles in the dark.)

As he stood in the corner, drinking a plastic cup of foamy beer, Mitchell felt just as much like a misfit as he always did at parties full of popular people.

In Madeleine’s face was a stupidity Mitchell had never seen before. It was the stupidity of all normal people. It was the stupidity of the fortunate and beautiful, of everybody who got what they wanted in life and so remained unremarkable.

“X could also be opinionated and blunt. People didn’t like that in anyone, but they liked it less in a woman.”

They snuck into a cocktail party for an insurance underwriters’ convention and ate free food.

She’d always been a failed bohemian, anyway.

Her sister’s iconoclasm and liberationist commitments had just been part of a trend.

Once again, Alwyn adapted to her surroundings. She hung out at the local pub with friends who hadn’t managed to get out of Prettybrook, either, all of them reverting to the scruffy, preppy clothes they’d worn in high school, cords, crew necks, L.L. Bean moccasins.

“Having been members of the college art scene, Larry and Mitchell were used to people undergoing radical self-transformations...” One of their fellow students wears self-designed grey tents as a statement. But they knew she “wasn’t going to be able to wear her androgynous outfits forever... There would come a day when, in order to get a job, she would have to hang up her gray felt and put on a skirt, or a business suit.” She might have to change her first name from "Moss", too.

[Group therapy] was borderline religious while professing not to be.

Making friends as an adult
often requires some new activity – joining a book club! Trying a new gym! (

Going on a date is a trying experience for everyone... We all know not to talk about exes or sob stories and yet is it too much to reveal your boy band obsession or the fact that you own eight cats? Will he find my job boring or does he think I talk too much? ( And everybody tries to sell it to you as "fun".)

Buster Brown: A really goofy looking person who also has very poor social skills and is usually not wanted by a majority of a group. (Urban Dictionary)

More here, and links to the rest.

1 comment:

  1. Didn't the Marriage Plot woman dress in her preferred mode (rather than trying to fit in at college) 'like the Kennedys on vacation' at one point? I thought that was such a great description....