Rachel Mason

Rachel is the wife of Roger Mason, the master builder, The Spire. Dean Jocelin compares her unfavourably to Goody Pangall and thinks of her as a ‘foolish woman’.  Rachel frequently argues with Roger, and he ignores her when she comments on aspects of the building work. She explains to Jocelin that she is unable to have children because ‘when she and Roger went together, at the most inappropriate moment she began to laugh’.

Rachel discovers that Roger is the father of Goody Pangall’s child and attacks Roger and Goody which leads to Goody’s early labour and subsequent death. After this tragic event, Rachel and Roger resume their marriage but no longer quarrel and seem like shadows of their former selves.  Rachel is always at his side, something which elicits ridicule from the other workmen.

It is likely that Golding chose the name Rachel for this character because of the Biblical connection. In the Book of Genesis, Rachel is unable to have children and gives her maidservant to her husband Jacob to be a surrogate mother. She is jealous of her sister Leah’s children.