owlnguava: cb4tb: fourstrongwingsthatblowlonely: A Frank Discussion I’ve been giving a lot of…

owlnguava:

cb4tb:

fourstrongwingsthatblowlonely:

A Frank Discussion

I’ve been giving a lot of thought to Frank’s decision to withhold the information about the obituary from Claire. I’m not a Frank hater. He was a good father to Brianna. But I think it’s completely valid to hold Frank responsible for his dishonesty toward Claire. No matter the reason or justification, he is responsible for his decision. Reasons and justification do not excuse dishonesty. IMHO Frank may have been a good father, but he failed as a husband.

Frank is also responsible for his cruel treatment of Claire after her return. In the book she is thought to be suffering from trauma and her story is treated as the ravings of a lunatic. In the show Claire agrees to Frank’s demands that she stop looking for Jamie and never bring up her experience again. In both cases Claire doesn’t speak of her experience again. Frank makes this demand of her. He is responsible for his actions.

He then researchs the man she claims to have married and finds that he did indeed exist. He finds proof of her story. He never tells her. He never reveals that he knows her story to be true. He never admits that his treatment of her was wrong. He never says those magic words to Claire: I believe you. And in this failure, he denies Claire the first step to healing. He denies Claire the right to be known.

Claire lives for 20 years without ever being able to tell her story or speak of her beloved husband. To anyone. We all suffer loss in our lives. Imagine never being able to speak of that loss. To never have a sympathetic ear. Never a shoulder to cry on. To never have your loss known.

In failing to be honest with Claire, Frank denies her the right to know Jamie’s fate, and to mourn. He denies her the opportunity to grieve and heal. And most of all, he denies Claire the opportunity to choose.

Frank’s anger, resentment, and fear of losing Claire, and then also Brianna, is completely relatable as the actions of a fallible man. Frank is, after all, just a man. A fragile, imperfect human being. But he is responsible for his actions. And in my mind, his dishonesty is inexecusable.

I think the difference between Jamie and Frank is that Jamie did not deny Claire the opportunity to speak of Frank. He didn’t deny her story. He in fact tries to send her back to Frank. Jamie is also an imperfect man. But he loves all of Claire, including her past with Frank and the parts of her he doesn’t understand. Jamie loves the parts of her and her story that cause him pain.

Jamie says it best, I think, in Drums of Autumn:

“I am a jealous man, but not a vengeful one. I would take you from him, my Sassenach—but I wouldna take him from you.”

Frank would take Jamie from Claire. And does so for 20 years.

Really good summary.  The other thing that has always stuck in my mind is he had her clothes analyzed after she returned and was told by another historian that they seemed authentic.

So right 👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼 What he did to Claire was emotional abuse and to have Claire repeatedly feeling guilty is victim blaming at its most frustrating.

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