Claire learns more about Jamie's life in Outlander Book 1, Chapter 22.
Claire has to learn the ways of the 18th century if she’s going to survive. Jamie realizes that her life was likely easier in Outlander Book 1, Chapter 22, which leads to him punishing her for her mistake.
However, this is also an important chapter for Claire to get to know Jamie better. She also understands more about life of the past and the way men and women would be punished differently.
While much of this chapter is used in the show, it was transformed to contain a few elements. Indoor units would have been easier to film in, especially during the first season. It shouldn’t be all that surprising that moments that were outside in the book were moved inside for the show. Not only would the stages been cheaper to film on, but it would have been easier to control light and weather!
However, that doesn’t take away from a lot of the events that happened. The changes don’t completely change the meaning of the chapter, except for cutting out the bit about Jamie’s past. His past is told at various points throughout the show, breaking up some of the more dramatic elements so we get to know Jamie in a deeper way than in the book.
I don’t feel like there was too much in the way of foreshadowing in this chapter. For the most part, I thought it was just a chance for Claire and Jamie to grow closer to each other while Claire learns the realities of 18th-century living.
It's time for us to break down Outlander Book 1, Chapter 22.
Just the Outlander book chapter
We start with everyone getting back to the inn after saving Claire from Black Jack Randall. None of the men are talking to her, pushing her out of conversations and pretending like she doesn’t even exist. Claire knows that she did wrong, and she decides to just accept the silent treatment and is grateful when it’s time to head to bed.
She isn’t grateful for too long. Claire receives a beating from Jamie. We don’t read it as it happens, though. Claire thinks about the beating the next day, and we find out that she did certainly fight back. It’s the type of thing we’d expect from Claire at this point.
Jamie feels like he has to give her the beating, though. Men would be beaten after what they did. In fact, some would be killed. Claire’s actions put everyone in danger. It’s clear many would have just left her in the hands of Black Jack Randall.
Feeling like she doesn’t understand the dangers of the Highlands, Jamie feels like beating her is the only way to make her understand. It’s only the next day that Claire believes World War II was far more dangerous than anything that could happen in the 18th century. But she’s looking at it from a modern warfare point of view.
Claire would have seen some horrific things in the Second World War; things Jamie would never have imagined. Let’s remember that World War I was a shock for the whole world. It was the worst war imaginable during the early 20th century and then World War II happened and was so much worse. Modern warfare made it possible to kill many people with just one bomb.
However, living in the 18th century was far more dangerous than the 20th century for many more reasons. Claire has seen war, but she’s not had to fight to survive every day of her life. She’s not been at risk of rape and murder every single day just walking down the street. And she also admits that killing in the 18th century is more like murder than warfare because it’s so up close and personal.
After the beating, the men are much better. They’re happier around Claire and offer her some chaffing and some sympathy. In fact, when they finally start riding again, they stop at times to give her a break from the saddle. They are happy that she’s been punished and taught a lesson, and now it’s time to move on in life. They’re not ones to hold grudges with the people they like and care about.
However, Claire can only ride in the saddle for so long. She decides to walk for a bit with Jamie sticking with her. Of course, Claire is angry with Jamie, but she listens to his stories of the past. She listens to how he was regularly beaten for things he did wrong and the beatings helped him understand not to do things again.
While Brian beat him, Brian was also a fair man. Jamie has learned a lot about being a man from his father, and he’s focused on being a fair and just man, too.
Claire understands the reason Jamie tells the stories. He’s not apologizing, but he is explaining. And he does think that Claire will think twice before disobeying his orders again.
It’s the final story that helps to fix the gap between them. Jamie tells Claire of the worst beating he received, back when he was 16. He had made fun of Mrs. Fitz at Castle Leoch and she’d told Colum about it at Hall. Jamie was beating with a belt by Angus and then forced to sit on a stool for the rest of Hall.
He also shares that’s why he took the beating for Laoghaire. He’d already told Claire that it was to save her from embarrassment, and in this chapter, we learn that he knows the exact type of embarrassment and shame she’d experience. It was easier for a lad to get over that embarrassment and move on, but it would have sat with Laoghaire for the rest of her life.
Claire does bring up that she thinks Jamie is interested in Laoghaire. He makes it clear that she thinks he’s pretty and he did think about bedding her, but he isn’t interested in her as a partner. It’s one of the reasons he married Claire, so he could avoid sin. “Better to marry than burn.”
It's an interesting chapter, getting to learn a little more about Jamie’s past and getting a clear reasons why Jamie took the beating for Laoghaire. However, he admits that he’s still a man and finds Laoghaire attractive. That doesn’t mean he loves her. He seems to brush off the idea that there’s more between him and Claire at this point, almost like he feels he needs to hold onto a little pride.
What I love the most is the ending to the chapter. Jamie makes his oath to Claire, promising never to raise a hand to him again. One thing we learn is that he never takes an oath lightly.
Foreshadowing in the Outlander chapter
For the most part, I don’t see a lot of foreshadowing in this chapter. It’s mostly about Claire and Jamie growing closer. We get to see the punishment for a wife in the 18th century and see that Jamie is somewhat a man of his time. However, we also see that Jamie knows what it means to be beaten. He understands the embarrassment but also the lessons to be learned.
The foreshadowing is mostly at the end. There’s a hint that everything with Laoghaire isn’t over yet.
Up to this point, Claire hasn’t thought too much about Laoghaire since the wedding. But she can’t help but think of Laoghaire now. She brings up Jamie taking the beating and kissing Laoghaire in the alcove.
It feels to me like this is going to become a bigger problem in the future. We know they’ll get back to Castle Leoch eventually and both Claire and Jamie will need to face Laoghaire. Claire has to figure out if Jamie has feelings for this girl.
On the one hand, it could mean Claire won’t break Jamie’s heart if she finally gets back to the stones. On the other hand, we can see that Claire has some strong feelings for Jamie. She doesn’t want to admit them right now as she still loves Frank, but she will feel hurt if Jamie has an affair with Laoghaire.
The other element of foreshadowing at the end is with the oath. It's clear that Jamie wants to have a happy marriage. He wants someone who will love him; a marriage like his parents had. It means he has to think about how to treat Claire and he's willing to do that.
I think there's also an element of foreshadowing of oaths in the future. Claire will take the oath to become a doctor and Jamie will understand how much that oath means to her.
Adapting for the Outlander series
This chapter was used somewhat on the series. The main focus is on the beating that Claire receives.
The men push Claire out from conversations, pretending that she’s not even there. Murtagh even comments to Jamie that Claire doesn’t seem to understand the danger she put all the men in. It’s time for Jamie to teach her a lesson.
For the most part, the beating happens as it does in the book. The difference is that we get to see the beating take place, along with the fight that Claire puts up. Like many other inventions that have to happen on the show, this is a chance to show the events and not just tell the story. While we look at all this with 21st-century eyes and cringe, it’s important for the show not to shy away real history. This is the sort of thing that would have happened.
We also instantly see the change in how the men react now that Claire has received her punishment. They chaff her a little, but they’re talking to her again. They acknowledge that she’s there.
The big difference from the chapter is the conversation when Claire can’t ride anymore. We don’t get to see that on the show. Instead, much of the conversation happens within four walls. I do think that is mostly about logistics because of the trouble that filming outside can cause.
As a show-first fan at this point, I never felt like I was missing out too much by not seeing the conversation as they walked. There wouldn’t have been enough time for the whole thing, either. For me, there was enough to see Claire accept that this was the life in the 18th century but Jamie also realized that he could lose his wife if he continued with these types of beatings.
The last part of the adaptation is the oath. This is done back at Castle Leoch instead of at the inn. I always felt it made it more personal. It was as they got back to what would become their shared bedroom in the castle, and Jamie laid his heart bare to Claire.
What did you take from Outlander Book 1, Chapter 22? Share in the comments below.
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