An Essay Concerning Alias Grace As A Major Piece Of Literature

An Essay Concerning Alias Grace As A Major Piece Of Literature

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     The book Alias Grace by Margaret Atwood is a beautifully articulated work of literature. The book presents a Victorian mode spiced up with spooky plot twists. Although the book presents a Victorian mode it is not entirely comprised of Romantic ideals. Atwood is a modern writer who was influenced by the major paradigms of both American and Canadian history. Since she was a child, she was fascinated by the true story of Grace Marks. Grace Marks was a teenage, Canadian domestic worker of the nineteenth century who was convicted upon the murder of her employer (Thomas Kinnear) and his mistress (Nancy Montgomery). In this novel, Atwood reimagines Grace’s enigmatic story. And in doing so, she embodies a signature theme, the injustices of women’s lives which also conveys the literary importance of the book. Also, she portrays the hypocrisy and ignorance of Victorian culture. Atwood also cleverly uses the characters’ conversations to convey topics such as prostitution, spiritualism, and treatment for the insane. This is one factor that makes Atwood’s style unique. Alias Grace has a style that is thoroughly logical yet complicated. This is not the case with the author’s tone which remains indifferent throughout the book. And so, this intriguing novel is one of unique style, indifferent tone, a signature theme that conveys the injustices of women’s lives that was influenced by all of the important eras pertaining to both American and Canadian Literature.

     Atwood presents a style unlike any other in her book, Alias Grace. Throughout the novel, Atwood inserts excerpts from other literary works to help illustrate the very complex Grace Marks. This is not common amongst modern writers. Another aspect that makes Atwood’s style unique, at least in this book, is her change of perspective. The book constantly changes from one perspective to another. Most of the book is either a narrative or a conversation (mainly between Dr. Simon Jordan and Grace Marks). Sometimes the book is in first person omniscient as seen through the eyes of Grace, and at other at other times, the book is in third person in a series of letters (and this is what may seem complicated to the reader). This shows Atwood’s grand creativity. Another aspect regarding Atwood’s style is her creative and descriptive diction. A good example of this can be...


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...with one of which is blame. This can be seen in the quote, “. . . once you are found with a man in your room you are the guilty one, no matter how they get in.” This is an example of how the book not only shows the superiority of men but also how women are always the one who get the blame. This was definitely true of Victorian times, and is usually the case today. This quote is very significant in that it foreshadows who will be seen as guiltier between McDermott and Grace when it is time for the trials. And after Grace is found to be guilty, she becomes known as a “celebrated murderess.” As can be concluded, Atwood’s signature theme in this book deals with the injustices of women’s lives.

     The novel Alias Grace by Margaret Atwood is a compelling story of a young woman convicted for murder. The novel is especially unique in its style, and although its tone remains indifferent, it conveys a unifying theme concerning injustices which women must face. And the novel gave Atwood the chance to embrace her fascination with the strong, clever, diligent, talented, thought-provoking, intelligent Grace Marks. And so, Alias Grace is a great book unlike any other.

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