He could feel in her what he felt in his own mother—in every good mother—love of order and peace, love of the well being of her children, love of public respect and private honor and morality.
Any form or order of society which hoped to endure must have individuals like Mrs. Blue, who would conform to the highest standards and theories of that society, and when found they were admirable, but they meant nothing in the shifting, subtle forces of nature. They were just accidental harmonies blossoming out of something which meant everything here to this order, nothing to the universe at large.
Theodore Dreiser – The Genius (1915)
Even in Dreiser's day the sophisticated world had a sneaking tendency to make fun of Mrs Blue because in the depths of its hedonistic soul it preferred to believe that her precious harmonies were indeed accidental. Yet it reaped the benefits of those harmonies even as it sneered , even as it made fun of Mrs Blue for being quietly devoted to her ideals. It smirked at her blinkers, her sweetly fastidious etiquette and the domestic faith she lived by.
Unfortunately for us the real significance of Mrs Blue’s accidental harmonies lay not in their accidental nature but in their harmonies.
Today Mrs Blue has gone, supplanted by Ms Green. Mrs Blue may have been blinkered but so is Ms Green, and a foolish, strutting harridan she is to boot. Her harmony is disharmony and designed not accidental. Ms Green is frantically suppressing the sneers even though every one of them is far more deserved than Mrs Blue’s ever were.
We’ll miss you Mrs Blue.