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Case Study: The Mind Of Alias Grace

1086 words - 4 pages

In Alias Grace by Margaret Atwood, Doctor Simon Jordan is a psychologist that is analyzing and talking to convict Grace Marks with the ultimate goal of unlocking the truth behind the murder case of Thomas Kinnear and Nancy Montgomery. Parts of Grace’s memory are missing completely, and through constant discussions with Doctor Jordan about her dreams and memories from the past, Doctor Jordan is trying to find a way around the memory blocks while examining the validity of Grace’s claims and psychological state. Despite the fact Doctor Jordan is Grace’s link to mental stability and truth, Doctor Jordan needs just as much help as Grace does in finding himself, but his process of self-discovery is never completed due to an accident during the war that permanently damages his brain.
Since the very first encounter, Doctor Jordan has interacted with Grace in a way that nobody else has. Doctor Jordan understands that she “will be a very hard nut to crack” and that she has “scant reason to trust anyone at all for a very long time period” (Atwood 54). Society already has preconceived ideas about Grace whether or not they are true. “They said in the newspaper that I was illiterate, but I could read some even then” (Atwood 27). For the most part, Doctor Jordan has ignored the notions that society has projected on Grace. Instead of judging Grace, Doctor Jordan tries to understand and analyze her (Darroch). “Perhaps I will tell you lies, I say. He doesn’t say, Grace what a wicked suggestion, you have a sinful imagination. He says, Perhaps you will. Perhaps you will tell lies without meaning to, and perhaps you will also tell them deliberately” (Atwood 41). The relationship between Grace and Doctor Jordan is not only a step towards solving the murder case of Thomas Kinnear and Nancy Montgomery, but this relationship is also a stepping stone to Doctor Jordan’s discovery of what he wants in a woman and in a wife and how to further progress in his personal goal of having and managing his own insane asylum.
Doctor Jordan dares to explore and contemplate a different lifestyle than he originally planned because of Grace. “He finds himself wondering what it would be like to live back there, in that lush and peaceful countryside; in, for instance, Thomas Kinnear’s house, with Grace as his housekeeper. Not only his housekeeper: his locked and secret mistress” (Atwood 388). After this fantasy—he realizes that Grace is the only girl that he has ever wanted to marry. He realizes that he is attracted to danger and edge (Siddall). “Murderess, murderess, he whispers to himself. It has an allure, a scent almost… He imagines himself breathing it as he draws Grace towards him, pressing his mouth against her” (Atwood 389). After meeting Grace, Doctor Jordan’s personality gradually becomes more distinct. He becomes less objective and is more so swayed by his feelings and opinions than before. “… he wishes to be astonished. He knows this is a dangerous...

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