This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Alias Grace: Margaret Atwood's Work Of Historical Fiction

647 words - 3 pages

In ‘Alias Grace’, one of her most satisfying novels till date, Canadian author Margaret Atwood takes us back into the mid-1800s in the life and mind of Grace Marks, who was notoriously convicted for the murder of her employer, Thomas Kinnear and his house-keeper Nancy Montgomery. Reading Susanna Moodie’s account of the story, Atwood became interested and dug deeper into the story only to find several discrepancies in Moodie’s version of the story. Hence, she started writing her own version of the story, Alias Grace, which although primarily based on reality, is a work of historical fiction.
The central character in the book is Grace Marks, who migrated to Canada from Ireland when she was 13 years old. On the way to Canada, Grace lost her mother because of a tumour that the latter had developed due to the unhygienic conditions on the voyage. After that, the only person whom Grace was close to was Mary Whitney, a co-servant in the Parkinson household. Mary Whitney’s death, due to pre-marital pregnancy and lame efforts to abort the foetus, weighs heavily on Grace who claims to have heard her voice shortly after she died. After this incident, Grace frequently changes her employers for one reason or another, finally settling into the Kinnear household where circumstances become unfavourable and she finds herself accused of the murders along with James McDermott, who worked at the stables in the Kinnear household. Grace is ordered a life sentence wherein she must spend her entire life repenting in the Penitentiary.
Another important character in the book is that of Dr. Simon Jordan, who is an up-coming expert in the field of mental illnesses. At a time when it was believed that murderers can only be controlled by tying them up or by inflicting injuries upon them, Dr. Jordan resorted to a modern method in order to find the missing links of Grace’s broken chain of memory. He listens patiently to her story hoping to take...

Find Another Essay On Alias Grace: Margaret Atwood's Work of Historical Fiction

An Analysis of Margaret Atwood's Siren Song

1550 words - 6 pages An Analysis of Margaret Atwood's Siren Song Throughout her many years as a poet, Margaret Atwood has dealt with a variety of subjects within the spectrum of relationship dynamics and the way men and women behave in romantic association. In much of her poetry, Atwood has addressed the topics of female subjugation in correlation with male domination, individual dynamics, and even female domination over males within the invisible boundaries of

Alias Grace Literary Essay: The Consequence of Childhood

1748 words - 7 pages Childhood is often perceived as a period of innocence and purity. However, it is also the period of time where a person’s fundamental character is established, which can be easily affected by the conditions of the child’s environment. Alias Grace, a novel by Margaret Atwood, contains many themes centered on the concept of childhood and the influence of a person’s past. The book features a famous convicted murderess, Grace Marks, and a doctor

Representation of Colors in Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale

1784 words - 7 pages Representation of Colors in Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale Imagine if you can, living in a world that tells you what you are to wear, where to live, as well as your position and value to society. In Margaret Atwood's novel, The Handmaid's Tale, she shows us the Republic of Gilead does just that. Offred, the main character, is a Handmaid, whose usefulness is her ovaries. Handmaids are ordered to live in a house with a Commander, his

Self-Sacrifice for Love of Another in Margaret Atwood's Orpheus

984 words - 4 pages Known for the manipulation of literary devices to create two wholly different meanings of her poetry, Margaret Atwood expects her readers to discover both figurative and literal translations. She uses allusions and metonymy in her popular poem “Orpheus” to encourage her readers to draw meaning from their own personal interests. If one’s area of expertise is Greek mythology, the reference to Orpheus is prevalent; however, if one is enthusiastic

In Defense of Historical Fiction

1372 words - 5 pages relate situations of the past and the present historical fiction authors must make their best attempt to ensure their work is historically accurate, but I also believe successful historical novelists must also use imagination in order to create a plausible story for mysterious and unknown events. For example, during the Afghanistan and Soviet Union War in the 1980’s, historical record shows an Afghanistan tribal leader named Masud united the

Analysis of the power politics of canadian literature. Specifically margaret atwood's surfacing

1547 words - 6 pages Margaret Atwood's Surfacing reflects the politics and current issues of the postmodern society. The unnamed narrator of the story returns to the undeveloped land on which she grew up to search for her father. Upon returning to that land, the narrator embarks on a psychological journey. The journey is a process in which she must regain her identity and heritage. Through this journey, the narrator is led back to the natural world where she unmasks

Personal Discovery of the Protagonist in Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale

1678 words - 7 pages Handmaid's Tale. New York: Anchor Books, 1986. Callaway, Alanna A., "Woman disunited ; Margaret Atwood's The handmaid's tale as a critique of feminism" (2008). Master's theses. Paper 3505. Staels, Hilde. "Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale; Resistance Through Narrating ." English Studies (1995): 455-467.

The Role of Women in Modern Society in Comparison To Margaret Atwood's "The Handmaid's Tale"

1571 words - 6 pages Margaret Atwood's controversial dystopian novel, The Handmaid's Tale, leaves the reader with the lingering question of "what if?". Set in the near future, what is known to be the United States, is overtaken by puritan conservative Christians, creating the Republic of Gilead. Assasinating the President and congress, this religious extremist movement suspended the constitution and took complete control over the government. Women in Gilead lost

Comparison essay between Margaret Atwood's "This is a Photograph of Me" and "Morning in the Burned House"

904 words - 4 pages Now You See Me, Now You Don'tIllusion is often mistaken for reality. Poet Margaret Atwood's poems, "This is a Photograph of Me" and "Morning in the Burned House" can be compared in terms of writing style, and theme. In "This is a Photograph of Me" Atwood writes using a combination of contrasting, irony, and symbolism, while in the poem "Morning in the Burned House" she uses irony, and symbolism in order to enhance the writing style and the

Analysis of Guy Vanderhaeghe's Short Story, "The Watcher" In relation to Margaret Atwood's essay "Survival: A Thematic Guide to Canadian Literature."

1245 words - 5 pages understanding of Vanderhaeghe's work as a piece of distinctly Canadian fictional Literature. Atwood's four victim positions can be used to understand characters from Canadian fiction from the distinctly Canadian point of view, survival. The hero of most Canadian fiction is the survivor, the main character or protagonist survives where the other characters do not, or they survive one ordeal only to succumb to something else, "The survivor has no

The Great Gatsby: A Work of Fiction or an Autobiography

991 words - 4 pages Lisset Manzano Mrs. Williams English 3 7 April 2014 The Great Gatsby: A Work of Fiction or an Autobiography? The idea of reflection is a “thing that is a consequence or arises from something else” (Oxford). Reflection is something F. Scott Fitzgerald knows a great deal of and a tool he uses in his literary works. Fitzgerald grew up in a middle class family and attended a prestigious university, although for a short period. He also met a

Similar Essays

Margaret Atwood’s Alias Grace Essay

1178 words - 5 pages Margaret Atwood’s Alias Grace Margaret Atwood was born on November 18, 1939 in Ottawa, Ontario, and since then she has lived in various places such as Boston, London, France, Italy, Germany, and Alabama. She currently resides in Toronto. Atwood has written numerous poems, novels, short stories, children’s books, magazine articles, and works of nonfiction. She has also written three television scripts, and she has edited anthologies. Some of

Atwood's Framing Of The Story In "Alias Grace"

1768 words - 7 pages One of the main themes of the postmodern movement includes the idea that history is only what one makes of it. In other words, to the postmodern philosopher history is only a story humans frame and create about their past (Bruzina). Margaret Atwood’s Alias Grace is an excellent exploration of this postmodern idea. Through use of postmodern writing styles and techniques, Atwood explores how the framing of a story influences its meaning. By mixing

How Does Margaret Atwood Portray Women In Alias Grace?

913 words - 4 pages A woman, especially if she has the misfortune of knowing anything, should conceal it as well as she can-Jane Austen. Throughout Alias Grace Atwood explores the way in which women conceal certain aspects and modify others of themselves in order to ,quite literally, get away with murder. The preconception that women are stupid, harmless beings is one that leads to the downfall of many men in the novel. Atwood portrays women in many different ways

Case Study: The Mind Of Alias Grace

1086 words - 4 pages run a mental asylum. The fact is, Grace Marks is as crucial to Doctor Jordan’s discovery of himself, as Doctor Jordan is in helping Grace Mark’s solve the mysteries of her mind. Works Cited Atwood, Margaret. Alias Grace. New York: Anchor Books, 1977. Print Blanc, Marie-Thérèse. "Margaret Atwood's Alias Grace And The Construction Of A Trial Narrative." English Studies In Canada 32.4 (2006). Literary Reference Center. Web. 30 Oct. 2011