Outlander Book Club: An Echo in the Bone Chapter 29 breakdown

Outlander -- Courtesy of STARZ -- Acquired via STARZ Media Center
Outlander -- Courtesy of STARZ -- Acquired via STARZ Media Center /
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Outlander — Courtesy of STARZ — Acquired via STARZ Media Center /

Just the Outlander chapter

The chapter starts with Roger going to see the Headmaster. Roger is not happy about the punishment, but it’s not actually the punishment that he has a problem with. It’s the reason for the punishment. We have to remember the time period we’re in. When Roger was in school, he would have been punished with beatings if he did something wrong. That would be normal for him. He doesn’t have to agree with it still, but it would still be normal for the time period.

It all comes down to the reason for the punishment. It’s because Jemmy spoke Gaelic, a language that isn’t taught anymore. They’re not supposed to speak it in school.

Those who don’t know their Scottish history won’t realize that the Gaelic language started to go dead. It’s actually thanks to Outlander that there has been a big push in reviving the language. There has also been a push in the Highlands for a long time to keep the language going, and you’ll see signs throughout Scotland in both English and Gaelic.

In the 1980s, the UK pushed to get rid of Gaelic. It was viewed as a lower-class language, and parents stopped teaching it. The Headmaster in this chapter, Menzies, explains that it was similar to the way Italian parents stopped teaching Italian to their British- and American-raised children to help them assimilate quicker.

However, it turns out that Jemmy is viewed as a hero by his friends. They love that he spoke Gaelic, and that just echoes Jamie’s life. We keep seeing this young Jamie in Jemmy.