|Ellen: “I think that a deep sense of *insult* is what she'd have felt -- insult that the same person who had been attracted to her, AR, could also be attracted to someone so much less by Rand's standards…” |
But this doesn’t explain why Rand was suspicious of Patrecia, and yet comfortable with Barbara, who had often confessed deep feelings of inadequacy and self-esteem. Despite these confessions, Rand was happy to see Nathaniel and Barbara married.
I think this points to a quite different dynamic – as long as Barbara remained Branden’s romantic partner, Rand could hold out hope of a resumption of their sexual relationship.
Barbara was a known quantity – she had acquiesced in sharing her husband romantically, and had done so for a number of years without overt complaint or ultimatum. Barbara was one of “us”-- biddable and controllable.
Patrecia was a different matter entirely. She was an unknown quantity. There was no guarantee she would roll over and share Branden in the way Barbara had done. In that case, if Branden were to embark on an affair with Patrecia, there was every chance Rand would lose him.
If jealousy denotes, among other things, possessiveness, suspicion and rivalry, then Rand at least displayed signs of jealousy, and with good reason. After all, she had lost Branden to Patrecia. She just didn't know it yet.