Morality

Mortality is one important aspect of change.

In the churchyard, on the way to the Manse, Chris thinks of the dead below those stones, farmers and ploughmen and their wives, and little bairns and new-born babes, their bodies turned to skeletons now.

She is terrified by the idea of the decomposing bodies; maybe there in the darkness worms and awful things crawled and festered in flesh grown rotten and black.

She's shocked when Marget jokes she might one day find herself dissecting Chris's dead body in an anatomy lesson.

Visits to the ruined castles at Dunnottar and Edzell emphasise how fleeting fortunes and lives can be.

On the eve of her wedding, Chris is suddenly struck by the thought of daft things... that this marriage of hers was nothing, that it would pass on and forward into days that had long forgotten it.

Her signature song, which always moves her to tears, is 'The Flowers of the Forest, lamenting the deaths of the young Scotsmen at the Battle of Flodden (the 1513 battle between Scottish and English forces that resulted in the death of James IV of Scotland).

Her thoughts of how the lads lay happed in blood and earth anticipates her own husband's fate and that of the other Kinraddie men who die in the war.