Study Guide

Outlander Power

By Diana Gabaldon


In the 18th century, you might think power is pretty cut-and-dry. Whoever can throw a caber the farthest is the most powerful, right? Wrong. Power was just as variable back in this day. Some men are burly and brawny and will beat up anything in their way, some men have power that isn't physical, and even some women are considered powerful (though they're usually feared for it). You might think living in the past would be simpler, but in some ways it's just as complicated, which Outlander shows us time and again through power dynamics.

Questions About Power

  1. What power does Claire have as a woman in the 18th century? Do other women have power?
  2. What power does Jamie have, as a man without land or prestige in the 18th century?
  3. How do Dougal Mackenzie and Colum Mackenzie exercise their respective powers?
  4. Is Jonathan Randall a good soldier? How does he prove that he is powerful?

Chew on This

Claire's power is based on her knowledge as a medical professional, which makes her an invaluable addition anywhere, from a castle to an army.

When it comes to political leadership in this book, it almost always depends on which man can show that he is the most powerful.