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Sunday, February 25, 2024

I do not think it worth while to wait for enjoyment until there is some real opportunity for it.

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Jane Austen

Jane Austen often explored the complexities of societal expectations and familial responsibilities in her novels, including characters who navigate these issues in their quests for happiness. But the pursuit of personal fulfillment wasn’t just a thorny dilemma in Austen’s novels; it was also a significant aspect of the author’s own life. Despite the rigid expectations placed on women of her era, Austen infused her work with humor, poking fun at the sometimes-ridiculous circumstances women could find themselves in. In a 1799 letter to her sister, Cassandra, Austen described a “very pleasant evening” at a “very poor” ball, despite there being “no particular reason” for her enjoyment. Austen’s curious remark reflects a philosophical belief she later explored in her novels: to embrace joy whenever and wherever possible. Much like the humor in her novels, Austen’s wisdom continues to stand the test of time. 

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Who said, "Imagination ... is a free spirit. It will go anywhere, do anything."
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