Cheever Out of Context

"She cried. He was jealous of her intelligence - she saw that. But was she meant to pose as a cretin in order to be attractive? Why should he rage because she had said a few words in French? To assume that intellingence, knowledge, the very benefits of education were male attributes was an attitude that had been obsolete for a century. Then she felt as if the strain put on hre heart by this cruelty was too much. She seemed to feel one of its fastenings give, as if this organ was a cask and so heavily laden with sorrow that, like some ruptured treasure chest of childhod, its sides had burst. 'Intelligence' was the word she returned to - intelligence was at stake. And yet the word should ring free and clear of the pain she was suffering. Intelligence was the subject for discussion, but it had the sentience, at that hour, of flesh and blood. What she faced was the bare bones of pain, cleansed in the stewpot and polished by the hound's tooth; this intelligence had the taste of death. She cried herself to sleep."

- "An Educated American Woman"

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