Spoilers; hos bloody project probably stupid question(15 Posts)
I have just finished reading (well listening to) this today. Really enjoyed it.
But, Jetta's pregnancy, we are led to believe that it was the constables baby. But when the mother died Roddy said that Jetta stopped sleeping with the children and started to sleep with the father instead because she needed privacy now. I distinctly remember that because dd1 walked in to the room as it was said and I switched it off quickly incase it led somewhere she shouldn't hear.
So could it have been the fathers baby?
and when Roddy walked in on Jetta and lachlan he seemed not to be sure what was going on. But he would have known surely, growing up around animals like he did? Did he say this to seem more innocent than he was and to downplay the sexual element of the crime?
I think those are possibilities. The unanswered questions such as those are what made it such a good book and endlessly thought-provoking, imo, don't know if there are any conclusive answers.
I also wondered the opposite - could the Constable also have assaulted his own daughter, Flora, in that manner - and did Roddy become confused witnessing it, as he never confessed to that part and seemed shocked by the revelations in court that she had been attacked that way.
But as you say, the pretending an innocence he didn't possess is also possible especially with the evidence the neighbour gave of him hanging around outside girls windows.
I don't think animal knowledge always translates to relations between people though; he could have still found it confusing and disorienting.
It's the unreliable narrator thing. I was even wondering if it was Roddy's baby. It was quite a surprise (shock, even) to discover that the "hero" was anything but. Made an interesting but predictable misery lit type of book into an excellent thought-provoking one.
So could it have been the fathers baby?
The father's angry, violent reaction towards Jetta and her pregnancy might suggest not, although I think his soundness of mind is as questionable as Roddy's.
Yy rhoda - what the book does in making the reader almost complicit in the crime by sympathising with him so much until the victims are revealed is what made it stand out to me too. Very clever.
fascicle it seems very much like a culture where a woman would be considered solely responsible for pregnancy so it's definitely complicated.
There are certainly several allusions to incest in the book, so it's possible.
Going back to your earlier theory:
could the Constable also have assaulted his own daughter, Flora, in that manner - and did Roddy become confused witnessing it
I think Roddy was responsible. He describes placing Flora on the table, in a way that echoes Jetta's position on the table with Lachlan Broad. Prior to that Roddy descibes Flora's skirts being in disarray around her legs, which seems significant in terms of his edited account and the wounds he does not mention.
Anyway, a very well written book, thowing up many different questions.
Yes it points to Roddy but only through his account and it seems to be implied by others that it is not reliable and there seems to be a degree of incredulity that he admits it all so readily, so I think it isn't definitive though the most likely. I think partly I wanted to grasp for other possibilities and the idea was to leave it a bit open for that.
Aside from his sexual feelings and actions, are there any other points of dispute relating to his account? Much of the factual content seems to make sense/be corroborated by other sources.
Despite his crimes, I didn't stop feeling sympathetic toward him.
I thought Archibald Ross was an interesting character/catalyst. His influence was untirely unhelpful to Roddy and certainly contributed to the events leading to his treatment of Flora and Lachlan Broad.
It was more the behaviour of others toward him in the prison, and their treatment of his confession, as though - I read a library copy or I would find the passages I mean!
Yes, agree re: AR. Also the psychiatrist had a spectacular lack of insight into the situation that was chilling.
Well, his account is disputed by the facts: Flora was found to have been brutalised, which was news to the reader if going solely by Roddy's version. Also the next-door-neighbour (can't remember her name) is depicted as being a sympathetic character, so why would she lie/exaggerate about Roddy being a peeping tom?
There is, of course, the whole issue of did he actually write the thing at all? We are told he was very bright at school, and up until the end we are rooting for him, but then you go back to the beginning and revisit the question of did the lawyer have a bit of hand (pen) in it...
Well, his account is disputed by the facts
I would say that the examples you give come under the exception I made ( aside from sexual feelings and actions ). I agree that Carmina Smoke/Murchison's evidence seemed wholly credible.
Revisiting the prologue, 'GMB' says: Roderick's accounts of the events leading up to the murders did, with some minor exceptions*, largely tally with the evidence of other witnesses at the trial. For these reasons, and having examined the manuscript first-hand, I have no doubts as to its authenticity.
* I would not class the omission of Flora's wounds as a minor exception. (I suppose it would be a step too far to question whether 'GMB' is 100% reliable in his presentation of the documents - he makes a point of saying that his editing was minimal.)
I wondered if there had been some kind of relationship between Roddy's late mother and Lachlan Broad (constable) as he says something when he leaves Jetta, about now her mother's no longer here...Whether he raped her, or the two had an affair, it would explain the bad feeling between the two families, which isn't explained. The father is such a dour old sod - but is this just since his wife's death? Or was he always like that, and she sought solace with Lachlan? (Ick!)
I do believe Roddy wrote the account; his schoolmaster said he was a highly talented pupil and had asked the father if he could further his education. Perhaps he suffered from high functioning autism. It was a fantastic book, though, and was amusing too - I loved the character of The Onion, and some of the reports by the newspaper reporters at the trial were highly amusing! Sadly, not much had changed in the Highlands by the 1940s/50s - my father, who's incredibly intelligent, had to leave school at 14 to help on the farm, although he's something of an autodidact, and is well-learned in history and politics.
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