Willa Cather, about families

"In all families the struggle to have anything of one's own, to be one's self at all, creates a strain that keeps everybody almost to the breaking point...even in harmonious families there is this double life: the group life, which is the one we can observe...and underneath, another, secret and passionate and intense--which is the real life that stamps faces and gives character to the voices of our friends. Always in his mind each member (of the family) is escaping, running away, trying to break the net which circumstances and his own affections have woven around him....One realizes that human relationships are the tragic necessity of human life...every ego is half the time greedily seeking them, and half the time pulling away from them."

-Willa Cather, writing about Katherine Mansfield (a quote I picked up at a workshop with novelist Jane Hamilton)