A Review Of The Novel Alias Grace English Literature Essay

Grace Marks is one of the two accused for the slayings of her employer, Mr. Kinnear and his homemaker, Nancy. She was sentenced to life imprisonment. Initially she claims that she does non retrieve what happened at the scene of the offense. Grace is introverted and carefully chooses what she says so that she does non uncover much information about herself. After Dr. Jordan comes, she opens up a small and tells him her tough childhood and what she remembers about the slayings. By the terminal of the novel, Grace is pardoned, marries her lover, Jamie

Dr. Simon Jordan is the doctor that is to analyse Grace. He is interested in her fortunes and wants to utilize what he knows about psychological science to prise every bit much information from her as possible so that it can be determined whether or non she truly is enduring from memory loss. After come ining in a relationship with Mrs. Humphrey, his landlady, and the consequences of Grace ‘s mesmerism, Dr. Jordan becomes disillusioned. He is unable to come to a decision and in the terminal merely returns to Europe.

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Mary Whitney is a miss about Grace ‘s age who besides worked for Mrs. Parkinson. Mary is more experient with secular affairs and therefore becomes kind of like a wise man to Grace. It is through Mary that Grace is able to happen household. They are like sisters and go close to each other. She has an matter with Mr. George that ends up in a gestation and a failed abortion that takes away her life. Grace seems to care more for Mary than her ain female parent because when her ma died, she thought twice about utilizing the sheet to cover her. On the other manus, Grace uses her money to supply the best possible funeral for her friend. Purportedly, the spirit of Mary resides in Grace and will come out during mesmerism.

Nancy Montgomery is the maidservant of Mr. Thomas Kinnear. When she is foremost introduced, she is looking for excess aid. She is non as welcoming or friendly as Grace ‘s last employer, Mrs. Parkinson. She feels as though she is superior to Grace. Nancy has an matter with Kinnear and gets covetous of Kinnear when he starts craving for Grace. She is subsequently found in the basement, strangled and her pharynx cut.

4. Conflicts:

One major struggle in the novel is finding Grace ‘s artlessness and besides her individuality.

Much of the book is concerned about Grace giving the readers background information about herself and her version of what happened during the clip of the slayings

The struggle ne’er gets resolved because Dr. Jordan ne’er comes to a decision and merely abandons his all of his findings. He does non cognize what to believe after he witnesses the spirit of Mary Whitney possess Grace ‘s organic structure.

Atwood gives you all of many little pieces and it is up to readers to set everything together and so make up one’s mind whether or non Grace is guilty or non

5. Opening chapter or scene:

Alias Grace opens with a dream about Nancy, a dream that besides occurs once more subsequently on in the novel. The twelvemonth is 1851 and Grace is 24 old ages old.

She has been in prison of all time since she was 16. She tries to be the theoretical account captive even though life in the penitentiary is described as tough.

She tells this dream to Dr. Jordan when they arrive at the portion of the narrative.

In the following subdivision is a small verse form that gives a speedy but slightly inaccurate sum-up of what has already happened before the novel started.

The gap gives some background information about Grace ‘s life and besides foreshadows many events.

6. Plot:

Grace has been kept at the Kingston Penitentiary when Dr. Jordan comes and performs his undertaking with Grace, the inciting incident

After Grace ‘s initial reluctance to take part with Dr. Jordan ends, the lifting action occurs when Grace relates her past to him. She is an immigrant from Ireland to Canada and suffers from a dysfunctional and destitute household.

Life was difficult for her because her male parent was worthless. She was able to happen a occupation as a housekeeper.

While working, she befriends Mary Whitney. She is traumatized when Mary dies because of an unsuccessful abortion and quits her occupation. She takes up another occupation with Nancy Montgomery, who works at the Kinnear estate

She besides meets James McDermott, another worker under Mr. Kinnear. Nancy and Mr. Kinnear seem to hold a relationship together but now Kinnear is paying more attending to Grace. James thinks that Nancy and Kinnear should be killed.

Grace so tells Dr. Jordan that James kills them both and so swoons when James threatens her. When she awakens, James says that she must maintain her portion of the trade which implied that she was to travel to bed with him.

Grace tries to set him off and persuades him to get away to Toronto but they shortly get captured.

In the flood tide, Dr. Dupont hypnotizes Graces but alternatively a spirit comes out stating that she is non Grace but Mary Whitney. When the enchantment is broken, Grace comes back but does non retrieve what happened during the hypnosis.

7. Decision:

In the novel ‘s falling action and decision, a confused and baffled Dr. Jordan ceases his probes and returns back to Europe

Grace is pardoned and released from the penitentiary at the age of 45. She ends up get marrieding her childhood lover, Jaime Walsh and shortly gets pregnant.

The fresh terminals with a transition about how Grace will quilt the Tree of Paradise. She will interweave Mary ‘s half-slip, her prison nightgown, and Nancy ‘s frock wholly.

The stoping was merely slightly appropriate because it did non truly experience as if he flowed with the remainder of the narrative, that it did non belong at that place. It merely seems attached on.

8. Subjects:

One subject of the novel is gender and feminism in the 19th century. Women back so were supposed to move a certain manner. They were to be submissive and modest with the work forces ruling. Womans were besides thought to be more bantam and moral. This may be a ground why James was executed and why Grace was merely sent to prison.

Another subject of the novel is that of gender. This subject seems to be a large drive force in the narrative. Mary Whitney gets involved in a sexual matter that has large reverberations. While in prison Grace must cover with the verbal maltreatment and sexual progresss of the guards. Grace is accused of holding a sexual brush with Jamie in the grove. Besides when Mrs. Humphrey ‘s hubby leaves her, she turns to a sexual relationship with Dr. Jordan for comfort. Dr. Jordan, on the other manus has phantasies of Miss Lydia and even Grace. Both Mr. Kinnear and James lust after Grace. Kinnear and Nancy have an matter excessively. Either manner, gender plays an of import function in the novel.

9. Symbols/Archetypes:

One large symbol is that of the comforter. There is both a physical comforter, the 1 that Grace is working on, and a mental comforter. Each clip Dr. Jordan examines Grace, it seems if as though another piece of Grace ‘s life and individuality are sewed onto a comforter. All of the small intricate spots and memories are stitched together do up the whole comforter and there are besides different ways to look at and interpret comforters. In add-on, the rubric of each chapter is a name of a existent quilting design.

Another symbol may be that apples. They could typify the truth and cognition. It could besides stand for the apple in the Garden of Eden. Grace could typify Eve, who was manipulated by something immoralities and so was punished for it.

10. Parallel events/parallel plants:

Alias Grace is similar to the narrative of the Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Gillman. Both plants of literature were approximately psychiatric attention. Women were the supporter in both narratives. Besides both adult females were isolated from other people, one in an refuge, another in a alone room.

The dream that Grace describes in the gap chapter makes another visual aspect in the center of the novel. In it, Grace sees Nancy with blood all over her face.

Alias Grace is the retelling of the existent narrative of Grace Marks. It is a historical fiction novel though, so some facets such as the character of Dr. Simon Jordan are made up.

11. Manner:

Atwood seldom uses citations in this novel. This makes the text more confusing as to who is speaking and believing which ideas. This does stress the ambiguity of Grace ‘s life and her history of the slayings

In add-on to the deficiency of punctuation, Grace besides uses the word “ could ” really frequently. This makes it seems like she is doing up some of the inside informations, that what she says is conditional

The narrative is presented from the point of position of Grace ‘s

At the beginning of each chapter, Atwood uses a existent historical article and/or a quotation mark that describes something approximately Grace to present the following subdivision.

To foreground the quilt subject, Atwood besides names each chapter after a echt quilting form and even provides a little image of the design.

12. Significant lines:

“ I would instead be a murderess than a liquidator, if those are the lone picks ” ( 23 ) – demoing feminist attitudes

“ … like go throughing through the Gatess of Hell and into Paradise ” ( 447 ) – when she left the penitentiary and went away into the existent universe

and that is the same with all comforters, you can see them two different ways, by looking at the dark pieces, or else the visible radiation ” ( 162 ) – there are ever more than one manner to look at things in life and everything has a dark and light side

“ Murderess is a strong word to hold attached to you… ( 27 ) – she has a label attached to her and it makes her believe a certain manner

“ And so we will all be together ” ( 460 ) – the last line of the novel, Grace will all of the leftovers of her past onto one comforter so that she can look at it and travel on

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