Alias Grace Chapters 21-26 Summary & Analysis

Margaret Atwood

Alias Grace

  • 53-page comprehensive study guide
  • Features 53 chapter summaries and 6 sections of expert analysis
  • Written by an experienced high school teacher with a PhD in English Literature
Access Full Summary

Alias Grace Chapters 21-26 Summary & Analysis

Part VII: Snake Fence

Chapter 21 Summary

Simon leaves the Governor’s house, appalled by Grace’s story of Mary’s death. He is disgusted by what happened to Mary and upset when he sees Grace being led back to prison. He realizes that the story of memory loss mirrors her claims about the murders, but that there is no one to corroborate her story.

Simon reminisces about the times that he would rummage around in the maids’ quarters. One time he got caught and ended up kissing the girl. This cheers him up, and he forgets about Mary Whitney.

He arrives at Reverend Verringer’s house for dinner and begins the evening by questioning him about possible contacts who can verify Grace’s story. Mrs. Alderman Parkinson moved back to the United States after her husband’s death, so Simon must seek out Grace’s lawyer, Mr. Kenneth MacKenzie. They agree that Susanna Moodie’s account is filled with factual inaccuracies, rendering her opinion useless.

Lydia and her mother arrive for dinner, though Simon did not know they would be there. Lydia is dressed for spring, and though Simon has no interest in marrying her, he refuses to deprive himself of her company. He describes her as food: a “confection” that appears to be sculpted of “whipped cream” (193).

Swept away by Lydia’s admiration, Simon agrees to speak to the Tuesday circle on the latest theories in nervous disorders and insanity.

He has an erotic dream about chasing a white scarf that gets twined around his throat.

Chapter 22 Summary

Grace remarks that Simon looks like he hasn’t slept at all when he comes into the room.

She takes up her story after Mary’s death. Grace sold Mary’s belongings to pay for her funeral, which Grace also arranged. She didn’t feel comfortable after Mary’s death staying at Alderman Parkinson’s, so she left.

She drifts from house to house: Mr. Dixon’s, Mr. McManus’s, Mr. Coates’s, where she stays until after her fifteenth birthday, followed by Mr. Haraghy’s. She left Mr. Haraghy because he tried to get into her room at night. She next went to Mr. Watson, a shoemaker.

She meets Nancy Montgomery at Watson’s, through the cook, Sally….

This is just a preview. The entire section has 1391 words. Click below to download the full study guide for Alias Grace.