Word Count: 1241Introduction Margret Atwood a long time celebrated author,has most recently published . Atwood has takena different approach to this novel. Although fictional thisstory has been based on reality. Grace Marks, the maincharacter is indeed, on of the mid-eighteen hundreds mostfamous criminals.
She was the celebrated villain of theKinnear-Montgomery murders. This novel has a terrificsense of mystery but also enough interest to engage thereader into its historical drama. Plot Summary Alias Grace,begins in the main character, Grace Marks’, sixteenth year ofincarceration for the murder of Thomas Kinnear, her pastemployer. Her supposed accomplice in the murders hasalready been killed for the murder of Kinnear, althoughMarks being a woman was handed a lighter sentence of life,although originally sentenced to death also. The death ofNancy Montgomery, Kinnear’s housekeeper and mistress,was disregarded as both villain had already been sentencedto death. Grace is around thirty years old, being accused ofthe crimes when she was only sixteen. Grace is prison whereshe has been mentally tortured during her rotation fromprison to asylum over time.
Doctors who wish to “examine”her frequently visit. She has now has a subconsciousaversion to these doctors and the world which she knows.She has become accustomed to being silent and unseen. Thisnovel begins with the interest of a young doctor in Grace,Dr. Simon Jordan.
He is noted as being from a wealthyfamily and of good name, but is more interested in studyingabroad about sanity and those enclosed in asylums ratherthan interest at home. He has little experience in dealing on apersonal basis with the question of sanity of patients, but isintrigued by this fabulously sensationalized murderess. Agroup that has continuously tried for the pardon of GraceMarks has recruited him. In hopes of discovery that she hasbeen found mentally sane and furthermore innocent on allcounts of murder. Dr.
Jordan’s main purpose is to helprecover the lost memory of the time during the murders. Thismemory which some to believe was conveniently forgottenhelped convict her during the trial; almost as if she hadadmitted to the killings. During the course of his visits withGrace, Dr. Jordan encourages her to tell of her life beforethe murders.
Grace begins her story with her family inScotland. Grace had been left with her abusive father andthe smaller children after her mother died on the passage toAmerica. A trip taken for necessity rather that need: for herfather was in a bit of financial trouble in Scotland. Grace issent out in Canada as a servant. Here is where Grace meetsher first true friend, Mary Whitney.
Mary teaches Grace tobe her own person. Unfortunately, Mary has a horrible deathdue to a bad surgical abortion and Grace is left alone andtrouble by the gruesome death of her friend. Grace travelsfrom house to house looking for the right setup for herservices. Finally, she meets Nancy Montgomery thehousekeeper of Thomas Kinnear. She takes a job underNancy mistakenly believing in their friendship.
Soon Nancyis overtaken with Grace in the house, she becomesincreasingly jealous of her role with Mr. Kinnear. This leadsto the obvious discovery of a romantic relationship betweenKinnear and Montgomery. With the proposed dismissal ofGrace and the hired hand McDermott, Grace is led withMcDermott into killing the two and robbing them for theirown escape. Although not long after, in a hotel, Grace andMcDermott, even though ironically using the alias MaryWhitney, are arrested. At this point in Dr. Jordan’s analysisof Grace months have passed.
He has become more andmore involved in the Grace Marks story. This reaches thepoint to where he believes he has fallen in love with her. Inreturn he has taken to his landlady to relieve his frustrationsof his untouchable desires for Grace. Dr.
Jordan becomeseven more involved with the case and is determined to findout the memory lapses in Grace’s story. The group whohired Dr. Jordan has become restless for his slow process touncovering the truth. Dr. Jerome DuPont enters the medicalstudy of Grace Marks. Although Grace has known Jeromebefore but as a peddler and friend named Jeremiah. Much tothe dismay of Jordan, DuPont is given the opportunity to putGrace into hypnosis, in full view of her peers.
During thismomentous scene, Grace is hypnotized into a state ofunconsciousness where she able to retrieve memories notperceived during consciousness. Grace, after asked manyspecific questions, uncovers the mystery