Hi, do you happen to recall in which chapter John tells Claire about William in Voyager? Thanks.
It’s in chapter 59 - aptly titled “In Which Much Is Revealed.”
I often see comments that people would have preferred Jamie tell Claire himself about William. But I’ve always liked how Claire learns from Lord John Grey. Because we know that Claire reacts emotionally - think of how she reacted at Lallybroch, when she found out about Laoghaire. Had Jamie told her directly, he would likely have elicited a similar reaction.
But since John tells her - she’s a bit removed from the entire situation. It gives her time to really process the news before Jamie tells her about it. So that when he *does* tell her, she reacts not with anger or jealousy or anything ugly - but rather, with compassion. Empathy. And love. So much love for Jamie.
“How could I tell ye, and expect ye to know the difference?”
“Geneva — Willie’s mother — she wanted my body,” he said softly, watching the gecko‟s pulsing sides. “Laoghaire needed my name, and the work of my hands to keep her and her bairns.” He turned his head then, dark blue eyes fixed on mine. “John — well.” He lifted his shoulders and let them drop. “I couldna give him what he wanted — and he is friend enough not to ask it.
“But how shall I tell ye all these things,” he said, the line of his mouth twisting. “And then say to you — it is only you I have ever loved? How should you believe me?”
The question hung in the air between us, shimmering like the reflection from the water below.
How Ralph and Jack are implied to be a romantic couple by William Golding himself
I truly believe William Golding intended for Ralph and Jack to be a couple almost in the romantic sense, but didn’t publicly claim it anywhere, not even implied it in his discussions, because there would have been serious consequences at that time. His book defies all the rules and the stereotypes of the respective era, and I believe he had subtly tried to defy this aspect of heterosexuality as well.
If you analyze Ralph and Jack’s relationship’s traits, Golding indirectly implied them to be a couple, and even romantic at that.
Ralph is complementary to Jack and more of a feminine symbol when you contrast him to Jack’s harsh, more barbaric ways which delve into the most primal masculinity. I don’t call Ralph girly in any way - just the fact that he was closer to a more feminine rationality, which is a positive thing in both the reader’s and Golding’s view.
Ralph uses the conch - an object that implies femininity - and is calmer, more sensitive and sensible - which were specific feminine traits at that time and even in these days. In most cases, a woman is more tranquil, serene and tries to hold the man’s chaotic and violent impulses at bay.
Jack on the other hand, is like the most primal barbaric male. His symbol is the spear - a clear symbol of masculinity, and his most relevant traits are his obsession for dominance, control and violence, which are specific to the crudest and roughest men.
Then there are other implied factors: how they have discussions about the younger children, as if they are two parents. Jack, in this case, is again the neglecting, abusive parent who doesn’t give two cents about his children, while Ralph is the responsible, caring one. I’m thinking Golding actually used his own case for this, and while we don’t know much about Golding’s personal life, I tend to believe his father may have been neglecting and probably violent with his family, as it was specific in most families. Domestic violence was an almost too common thing, and I suspect Golding has transposed some of the worst traits of himself and his own father in Jack. This again implies how Golding used Ralph and Jack as parents, and indirectly, as a married couple with relationship problems.
And there are the steps in their relationship: Ralph and Jack like each other when they first meet. This says nothing concrete of course, but we have their odd behavior to prove their liking to each other is actually of romantic nature. Both of these boys are extroverted, confident, sociable and imposing. They have no inhibitions around anyone, they treat people as if they are below themselves, and they are not impressed by anything. But then they meet each other, and their behavior almost completely changes. Ralph and Jack are impressed by each other, blush around each other and become unusually shy when together, to the point where they can’t speak coherently at first when they try to hold a dialogue together ( e.g: “Jack and Ralph smiled at each other with shy liking.”/
Ralph spoke first, crimson in the face. “Will you?” He cleared his throat and went on. “Will you light the fire?” Now the absurd situation was open, Jack blushed too. He began to mutter vaguely. “You rub two sticks. You rub-” He glanced at Ralph/”).
Their relationship has the exact steps of a romantic relationship that doesn’t work out. They fall for each other, but mostly for what they appear to be at first - exciting and fun - it works for a while, but then everything starts to fall apart, as both Jack and Ralph change as people and go into opposite directions, revealing their actual nature. Ralph becomes thoughtful, a more caring, sensible and wiser person, while Jack finds his character in control, violence and brutality over other people. They realize they don’t like each other that much at that point, because their differences are too great, they start having fights, they try to make it work a few times, but then the saturation point comes. It wasn’t meant to be.
They are literally a falling couple in the background of gruesome events, but it almost goes unnoticed because the horrors of the book are too impressive and shocking for the readers to realize this detail between Ralph and Jack. I’m almost convinced Golding tried to insert this romantic element with subtlety, to give an even more impressive twist to the story. Ralph and Jack were enamoured and enraptured by each other, but their clashing personalities and life views kept their infatuation from going.