Recently, I started to watch “The Biography of Jane Austen” and found a shocking thing: Mrs. Austin had 8 children when she gave birth. In order to make the priest’s mansion more tidy and easier to manage, she would be at the beginning of the birth of the child. Feed the baby in person for three to four months, and then give the baby to the nursing mother in the village for one year or 18 months. In other words, she didn’t have the time to take care of the baby herself.
Three months after Jane Austen was born, she was sent to foster parents in the village. She will not go back to her home until she can speak, communicate with others, and make sense. The mothers of that era seemed to have such a view easily, “Trying to get rid of the troubles they brought, they are just like plants at this time, and later they are just like animals.”
This book mentions a child who was sent to the home of a stout peasant and nursing mother. He had not heard from his parents for 4 years, except for an occasional note asking if the child was healthy.
Is this good for the child? The author of the biography commented that Jane Austen kept an emotional distance from her mother throughout her life. It can be seen from her letters, “The writer seems to have never opened his heart, and he is always facing this An adult who avoids intimacy, your feeling is that when she was a child, she never knew what love is and where there is a sense of security. She is fully armed and waiting for the day of being abandoned.”
But this is how Jane Austen wrote “Pride and Prejudice.” The daughter of a rural pastor has never travelled far in her life, but she has a great gift for writing. Is that self-deprecating enthusiasm and perceptive keenness all because her mother threw her to the nurse?
Just like Jane Austen is Maugham. In Maugham’s biography, it is mentioned that the Maugham who took care of his childhood was a French maid when the Maugham family lived in France. In the morning, the maid took Maugham to see his mother, who was resting in bed after taking a shower. After seeing his mother, he will be taken out to play, usually to the Champs Elysées. In the afternoon, his mother might drink tea with him. Although the time spent with him is not long, Maugham’s childhood has been the best time in his life. At the age of 8, his mother died of illness, and two years later, his father also died.
Maugham has revealed his thoughts in his works many times. These children who were not fully cared by their parents in childhood will be sensitive throughout their lives. “The love he got when he was a child was so little that he would be embarrassed to be loved later… When people praise him, he doesn’t know how to respond, and when he expresses his emotions he feels like a fool.”
I vaguely remember that he even taunted high-class wives and played a good mother. He only had to ask the babysitter to bring the child to kiss at 3 o’clock in the afternoon to complete the task.
Do you suddenly realize like me that the constant self-ridicule in English literature and the sudden sense of loneliness from time to time may be related to the writer’s lack of close contact with his parents since childhood.
My favorite writer, Orwell, described his mother as “a boring woman who likes to play bridge.” Obviously, when he was a child, he shouldn’t be taken care of by his mother, because in addition to playing bridge, his mother also likes to watch theaters, swimming, to the Wimbledon lawn tennis tournament, and so on.
To be honest, don’t you want to dream of going back to Jane Austen’s time and being a busy parent who is not involved in children’s affairs? You may develop a cold child, but you are a complete adult, and you no longer have to read picture books or sing nursery rhymes to your children.