Alias Grace Important Quotes

Margaret Atwood

Alias Grace

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Alias Grace Important Quotes

1. “It’s a wonder they can sit down at all, and when they walk, nothing touches their legs under the billowing skirts, except their shifts and stockings. They are like swans, drifting along on unseen feet; or else like the jellyfish in the waters of the rocky harbour near our house, when I was little, before I ever made the long sad journey across the ocean. They were bell-shaped and ruffled, gracefully waving and lovely under the sea; but if they washed up on the beach and dried out in the sun there was nothing left of them. And that is what the ladies are like: mostly water.” (Chapter 3, pp. 21-22)

Grace compares the upper-class women here to jellyfish, meaning that they consist of nothing much; they are insubstantial. This view of the upper-class women, as primarily ornamental, ethereal, and not very useful, fits with what Mary Whitney has taught Grace about the upperclasses. Though upper-class, justlike working-class and lower-class women, they have no power, other than their beauty, and little influence.

2. “…Murderess is a strong word to have attached to you. It has a smell to it, that word – musky and oppressive, like dead flowers in a vase. Sometimes at night I whisper it over to myself: Murderess, Murderess. It rustles, like a taffeta skirt across the floor.” (Chapter 3, pp. 22-23)

Grace is somewhat titillated by her own infamy, seeming to relish it. This passage also supports a view that her personality is somewhat melodramatic and hysterical, though also imaginative and creative.

3. “I think of all the things that have been written about me – that I am inhuman female demon, that I am an innocent victim of a blackguard forced against my will and in danger of my own life, that I was too ignorant to know how to act and that to hang me would be judicial murder, that I am fond of animals, that I am very handsome with a brilliant complexion, that I have blue eyes, that I have green eyes, that I have auburn and also have brown hair, that I am…

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