Friday, February 19, 2016

Brave New Family by G.K. Chesterton - Part 2

G.K. Chesterton is better understood in bite-sized chunks so I greatly appreciated the editor of Brave New Family compiling G.K’s wisdom on the subject into digestible paragraphs and chapters.

In my last post I quoted a few of his thoughts on marriage and this week I want to highlight his insights into motherhood, especially the idea that mothers should work and let someone else raise their children. (Although written 100 years ago, his words are quite contemporary.)

The State thinks think they can do a better job and leave the mother to do something more meaningful. The actual effect of this theory is that one harassed person has to look after a hundred children, instead of one normal person looking after a normal number of them. Normally that normal person is urged by a natural force, which costs nothing and does not require a salary, the force of natural affection for his young... If you cut off that natural force, and substitute a paid bureaucracy, you are like a lunatic who should carefully water his garden with a watering can, while holding an umbrella to keep off the rain. (p. 56)

A woman's function is laborious, because it is gigantic, not because it is minute. I will pity Mrs. Jones for the bigness of her task; I will never pity her for its smallness. (p. 113)

And my favorite: Progressive people are perpetually telling us that the hope of the world is in education. Education is everything. Nothing is so important as training the rising generation. They tell us this over and over again, with slight variations of the same formula, and never seem to see what it involves. For if there be any word of truth in all this talk about the education of the child, then there is certainly nothing but nonsense in nine-tenths of the talk about the emancipation of women. If education is the highest function of the State, why should anybody want to be emancipated from the highest function of the State? If education is the largest thing in the world, what is the sense of talking about a woman being liberated from the largest thing in the world? (154)


Elizabeth said...

Very interesting quotes.

Lovely blog.

Stopping by from the Saturday Review of Books Linkup.

I hope you are having a good day.

Silver’s Reviews
The Passenger by Lisa Lutz

Barbara H. said...

I have not read much Chesterton, but what little I have read is so full of common sense.