Mollycoddling was the mother’s duty; the father’s lay elsewhere. As a consequence, his four older children feared and respected him, as they had been taught to do, and the love they professed to feel, had they been asked and had they answered truthfully or even had access to the truth, was of a duty-bound, obligatory kind too, a love issuing from commandment and tradition and the notion of family, not one from the tides of the heart or the unbridled, inexplicable pull of feelings. If painted, that love would take the form of a polite and manicured wash of pleasant colours, not the hurl-and-splatter of impastoed reds.
―Neel Mukherjee, The Lives of Others
…listening with absorbed attention more to her voice than to what she was saying, and thinking how like she was, flowering through her voice into beauty in the darkness, to some butterflies he had come across in the Swiss mountains the summer before. When they were folded up they were grey, mothlike creatures that one might easily overlook, but directly they opened their wings they became the loveliest things in the world, all rose-colour or heavenly blue. So had she been to him in the daylight that afternoon,–an ordinary woman, not in any way noticeable; but now listen to her, opening into beauty on the wings of her voice!
― Elizabeth von Arnim, Father