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Alias Grace: Innocent Or Guilty? Essay

1101 words - 4 pages

Innocent or Guilty?

     Grace Marks, the main character in Alias Grace by Margaret Atwood, is undoubtedly guilty. The evidence against her is way too much to consider innocence. Feeling sympathy towards Grace seems easy, especially since she tries to make it out to seem that she is the victim, but when looking at the facts only, it is obvious that the evidence all points against her. She has motives, Grace has left evidence, and her stories are not consistent with each other. The evidence, as well as the motives signify her guilt, not her being a victim of an unfair system.
     Grace’s motives seem to be fairly simple, as they are based mostly on a love interest of Mr. Kinnear. Mr. Kinnear’s love interest is Nancy Montgomery, who Grace absolutely despises. This hatred has more to do than the fact that Nancy involved herself with Thomas Kinnear, but also because Grace considers her to have multiple personalities, signified by her alias Mary Whitney, and she hates that she is not blessed with the same social standing and wealth that Nancy Montgomery has reached. It is not just a crush for Grace, especially since there are signals that Mr. Kinnear has interest in Grace as well. The easiest solution for her to obtain his love would be to kill Nancy. Kinnear’s interest in Grace is shown when he takes time out of his day to make small talk with Grace. The best signal of Mr. Kinnear’s interest in Grace, however, would be when he asked her to go out on her birthday. Mr. Kinnear’s sly flirting, however, only increases Grace’s desire to be with him, and this will lead to his eventual death. The feelings are not one sided, as they are reciprocated by Grace based on her going out of her way to do things, for example delivering coffee to Mr. Kinnear, that make Nancy angry. Due to the time period, the idea of a mistress, and being born by anyone other than one’s wife is extremely unacceptable, and when Grace finds out Nancy is pregnant, she has another motive for killing her. A marriage between Nancy and Mr. Kinnear would appear imminent if she were to have his baby. Grace will not allow this to happen, and therefore she puts an end to any chance of it occurring by murdering Nancy and Mr. Kinnear.
     In addition to having motives, Grace has done a poor job of covering up the murder, and can be considered guilty solely based on logical reasoning. Her love for Mr. Kinnear was clearly expressed in the text, but she acted completely unemotional after he was killed. It is thought that if her love was real, and she did not commit the murder, that Grace Marks would be a wreck after such a tragic event. Instead she acts calm and collected, and she even goes as far as wearing Nancy’s clothes and even taking her money, both being blatant signs of disrespect. Even more blatant would be the fact that Nancy was strangled, and Grace’s handkerchief was the “weapon.” Also, Grace had little or no...

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