Character Analysis: Alias Grace, Margaret Atwood

Category: Character Analysis
Last Updated: 20 Apr 2022
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Grace Marks being the protagonist of the historical novel Alias Grace matures and grows as most protagonist do. Grace goes through many stages in her life where she needs to adapt to the situation in order to not be taken advantage of. She Is either too naive, too deep in self-pity or too self-aware. She Is a dynamic character who goes from being a scared little girl Into a convicted murderess. The stereotype surrounding her being a woman - making her too fragile to take part In such a crime actually helps her and saves her from the noose.

Like every proper girl Grace was very naive when It came to things of the sexual nature. When she observes Nancy dress to have some Ink-Sis snuff stains she tells herself "she most likely slipped and fallen down" (262) She TLD understand where the stains could've came from, besides getting dirty doing house work. Throughout her story Grace speaks a lot about Mary Whitney and all she taught her regarding men such as 'not sitting where a man just sat' and how street whore's made money. Unfortunately Mary died while going through an abortion, which ironically Grace did not understand at the time.

All of this new information did scare Grace, until she finally realized how naive she really was when she was informed about Mr... Skinner and Nancy relationship as to which she remarked "l was much surprised , and said so; "l was not so knowing as I thought myself, and could scarcely see the nose before my face". (295-296) Grace started losing luck as soon as she decided to work for Mr... Skinner. Chapter 23 in the novel is named "Snake Fence" hinting Grace is walking into danger. Immediately after she enters the town she is confronted by a stranger before being saved by Jeremiah (239).

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Once she began working in the new village she felt very isolated " . It struck me at once how very solitary I was, as I had no friends here except Nancy, if she could be called a friend .. .1 did not know where my family was, which was the same as having none". (301-2), she also confesses tootsie Walsh, "l felt would cry again, and said simply, I have no friends here. " (303). Unfortunately Grace soon finds out that that sort of loneliness is nothing compared to what was waiting for her in solitary confinement, where she would soon have to learn how to entertain herself "l sing a song, Just to hear a voice and keep myself company". 37) By the end of the novel grace becomes very self-aware of how people view her, she knows people view her as a type of romantic notion and tells Lydia "But If I laughed out loud I might not be able to stop; and also It would spoil their romantic notion of me. Romantic people are not supposed to laugh, I know that much from looking at the pictures". (27) And later admits "l look at him stupidly. I have a good stupid look which I have practiced". (43).

Her role playing seems to throw many off when It comes to her being guilty or not, because she is so deep into her role of playing the "Lady of complete truth to Doctor Jordan it would never be known, with all the role playing she admits to doing. Grace's character and Tattoo's feminist views play a big part in how Grace is portrayed throughout the book. Just analyzing Grace acutely one cannot miss how her traits and situations make her seem to usually be the victim. But then again, if this wasn't the case, her story wouldn't be so interesting to the masses.

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Character Analysis: Alias Grace, Margaret Atwood. (2017, Nov 19). Retrieved from

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