It is very unfair to judge any body's conduct, without an intimate knowledge of their situation. Nobody, who has not been in the interior of a family, can say what difficulties of any individual of that family may be.
(Jane Austen (1775-1817), British novelist. Emma in Emma, ch. 18 (1816).)
The family: I believe more unhappiness comes from this source than from any otherI mean the attempt to prolong family connection unduly, and to make people hang together artificially who would never naturally do so.
(Samuel Butler (1835-1902), British author. First published in 1912. Samuel Butler's Notebooks, p. 73, E.P. Dutton & Company (1951).)
Nostalgia is one of the great enemies of clear thinking about the family. The disruption of families in the nineteenth century through death, separation, and other convulsions of an industrializing economy was much more catastrophic than we imagine.
(Joseph Featherstone (20th century), U.S. social critic. "Family Matters," Harvard Educational Review, vol. 49 (February 1979).)
I worry about people who get born nowadays, because they get born into such tiny familiessometimes into no family at all. When you're the only pea in the pod, your parents are likely to get you confused with the Hope Diamond. And that encourages you to talk too much.
(Russell Baker (b. 1925), U.S. journalist. "Life with Mother," Inventing the Truth: The Art and Craft of Memoir, ed. William Zinsser, Houghton Mifflin (1987).)
The ultra-right would have us believe that families are in trouble because of humanism, feminism, secular education, or sexual liberation, but the consensus of Americans is that what tears families apart is unemployment, inflation, and financial worries.
(Letty Cottin Pogrebin (20th century), U.S. editor, writer. Family and Politics, ch. 4 (1983).)