What Is Drudgery?

While re-reading the book "Holiness for Housewives"by Dom Hubert van Zeller, I was reminded of an excellent G.K.Chesterton quote from the chapter ' The Emancipation of Domesticity' in his book "What's Wrong with the World."

"...I cannot, with the utmost energy of imagination, conceive what they mean. When domesticity, for instance, is called drudgery...the difficulty arises from a double meaning in the word. If 'drudgery' only means dreadfully hard work, I admit the woman drudges in the home - as a man might drudge at the Cathedral of Amiens or drudge behind a gun at Trafalgar. But if it means that the hard work is more heavy because it is trifling, colourless and of small import to the soul, then, as I say, I give it up; I do not know what the words mean. To be Queen Elizabeth within a definite area, deciding sales, banquets, labours, and holidays; to be Whiteley within a certain area, providing toys, books, cakes, and boots; to be Aristotle within a certain area, teaching morals, manners, theology, and hygiene, I can understand how this might exhaust the mind, but I cannot imagine how it could narrow it. How can it be a large career to tell other people's children about the Rule of Three, and a small career to tell one's own children about the universe? How can it be broad to be the same thing to everyone, and narrow to be everything to someone? No, a woman's function is laborious; but because it is gigantic, not because it is minute. I will pity Mrs. Jones for the hugeness of her task; I will never pity her for its smallness."

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