Responsibility and Caution

Claire's development throughout the series


Claire is absolutely refusing to admit to the severity of her situation. Having lived a life of carefree adventure with little need to claim responsibility for anything, being thrown into a time where the slightest mistake means death, she was a very dangerous person to have around. The men who had captured her were put in harms way by her constant recklessness. It wasn't until she was tried and convicted as a witch that she learned that sometimes, she had to hold her tongue to keep herself and her friends safe. Her husband's imprisonment was key in Claire learning how to keep not only herself safe in this time, but how she would need to protect other people as well.

In other words...

Having the traits of a self-reliant woman from the 1940's, she was the worst possible person to be thrown into a time that was so different from her own. The 1740's weren't ready for a person like her, and she would have to quickly adapt, or die trying.

Quote showing a disregard for caution

"... Ye might. And it's because ye dinna take things as serious as they are. Ye come from a place where where things are easier, I think. 'Tis not a matter of life or death where you come from, to disobey orders or to take matters into your own hands... It's the hard truth that a light action can have very serious consequences in times and places like these..."

(Outlander 391)

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A Dragonfly in Amber

Having almost lost her life as well as her husbands, Claire now at least was willing to change herself to make herself fit in. She was now living in France, trying to use what she knew of the future to save the lives of her new clansmen from a terrible death in the battle of Colloden. She had been seen as being a witch in Scotland due to her knowledge and skills, but in France, she was able to blend in and use this to her advantage. Many times she was faced with choices that would force her to choose between an effect on the greater good of the world, or put her family at risk. This book is a focus on Claire learning when it's time to fight and when it's time to run.

In other words...

Her selfishness and irresponsibility may again win out as she is handed the lives of thousands of men, and forced to decide between saving them and saving herself.

Quote showing her new view of responsibility

"...I took on more and more of the domestic duties, and she deferred to me more often. I would never try to usurp her place; sh had been the axis of the house since the death of her mother, and it was to her that the servants and tenants most frequently came. Still, they grew used to me, treating me with a friendly respect that sometimes bordered on awe."

(A Dragonfly in Amber 579)

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20 years later, Claire is very different. In the time after Colloden, she raises a child and becomes a doctor, taking the world into her own hands. She has one problem, though. Her husband is in the 1700’s and she is in the 1960’s. The decision she has to make over returning to the 1700’s to be with her husband and deciding to stay with her daughter in the 1960’s is nearly impossible, but Claire finds herself being pushed back to the 1700’s by her daughter, against her now very motherly ways. Now knowing the way’s of the time, she again has the power to change the world, but this time, knows the way to behave to do so.

In other words...

The reckless child she had been when she first crossed into the 1740’s is now gone, and she knows now that she can’t change the world without changing herself to fit it.

Quote showing her having adapted to life in the 1700's

"...If Geilie should be there, still, and one of us might be killed in stopping her, it must be Jamie to take the risk. For with Jamie dead, I would be left- and i could follow her through the stones, which he could not."

(Voyager 1026)

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