f hypocrisy and ignorance of Victorian culture.
f LiteratureThe book Alias Grace by Margaret Atwood is a beautifully articulated work of literature. The book presents a Victorian mode spiced up with spooky plot twists. Although the book presents a Victorian mode it is not entirely comprised of Romantic ideals. Atwood is a modern writer who was influenced by the major paradigms of both American and Canadian history. Since she was a child, she was fascinated by the true story of Grace Marks.
Grace Marks was a teenage, Canadian domestic worker of the nineteenth century who was convicted upon the murder of her employer (Thomas Kinnear) and his mistress (Nancy Montgomery). In this novel, Atwood reimagines Graces enigmatic story. And in doing so, she embodies a signature theme, the injustices of womens lives which also conveys the literary importance of the book. Also, she portrays the hypocrisy and ignorance of Victorian culture. Atwood also cleverly uses the characters conversations to convey topics such as prostitution, spiritualism, and treatment for the insane. This is one factor that makes Atwoods style unique. Alias Grace has a style that is thoroughly logical yet complicated.
This is not the case with the authors tone which remains indifferent throughout the book. And so, this intriguing novel is one of unique style, indifferent tone, a signature theme that conveys the injustices of womens lives that was influenced by all of the important eras pertaining to both American and Canadian Literature.Atwood presents a style unlike any other in her book, Alias Grace.
Throughout the novel, Atwood inserts excerpts from other literary works to help illustrate the very complex Grace Marks. This is not common amongst modern writers. Another aspect that makes Atwoods style unique, at least in this book, is her change of perspective.
The book constantly changes from one perspective to another. Most of the book is either a narrative or a conversation (mainly between Dr. Simon Jordan and Grace Marks). Sometimes the book is in first person omniscient as seen through the eyes of Grace, and at other at other times, the book is in third person in a series of letters (and this is what may seem complicated to the reader). This shows Atwoods grand creativity. Another aspect regarding Atwoods style is her creative and descriptive diction. A good example of this can be seen in the first chapter: Out of the gravel there are peonies growing.
They come up through the loose grey pebbles, their buds testing the air like snails eyes, then swelling and opening, huge dark-red flowers all shining and glossy like satin. Every author has his or her own diction that is beyond comparison. However, another one of Atwoods attributes within Alias Grace that goes without comparison is her ability to write clearly.
It is not only clear but also logical and easy to understand. It is logical and easy to understand because it is a simple story of a doctor who is trying to uncover the truth and also because the novel uses simple words and sentences. This shows that she is familiar with the plain style used by Puritans in the Age of Faith.
And this is why the book can be easily understood. The next characteristic of the authors style that makes it so unique has to do with the characters conversations. The conversations that take place between the characters creates an open forum to discuss topics such as prostitution, spiritualism, and treatment for the insane. Not many authors are or have been able carry this out so casually and to the extent seen in Alias Grace. And so, Margaret Atwoods style in the book Alias Grace is especially unique.
Margaret Atwood produces a tone that remains indifferent throughout the book. She does however state that she was accommodating all possibilities wherever feasible. This gives us evidence that although the true story is never told, it lays an elaborate network of detailed assumptions. But in any case, it is up to the reader to truly say whether or not Grace is innocent.
And although the authors tone towards Grace is indifferent, her tone towards McDermott is clear, that he is guilty and a great liar. But her attitude towards the rest of the characters is neither good nor bad. Her attitude towards the Victorian era is that it was an era filled with many ignorant and hypocritical people. The reader must, however, keep in mind that the novel is comprised of Atwoods personal feelings and assumption that he or she might have created. And as a result of this, Atwoods tone can neither be credited or discredited with regard to the reader and with regard to the factual events. The authors tone is more or less indifferent for all of the characters in the novel.The signature theme embodied within Alias Grace deals with injustices associated with womens lives.
Atwoods entire purpose of writing Alias Grace may have been to show that women are not inferior but strong and intelligent as seen in Graces character. And whether intentionally or unintentionally, Atwood has portrayed Victorian culture as a sexist society where men are superior. This society says that a woman is a timid creature. Grace, being a diligent woman herself, believes she has the answer to womens problems; as can be seen in the quote, If they were only less weak and careless, and more foresightful, and if they would keep from blundering into difficulties, think of all the sorrow in the world that would be spared. Atwood probably wrote this line to show that women do not women do not always support other women which is truly an injustice that all women must face, even today. Atwood presents the reader with many injustices against women, with one of which is blame.
This can be seen in the quote, . . .
once you are found with a man in your room you are the guilty one, no matter how they get in. This is an example of how the book not only shows the superiority of men but also how women are always the one who get the blame. This was definitely true of Victorian times, and is usually the case today. This quote is very significant in that it foreshadows who will be seen as guiltier between McDermott and Grace when it is time for the trials. And after Grace is found to be guilty, she becomes known as a celebrated murderess.
As can be concluded, Atwoods signature theme in this book deals with the injustices of womens lives.The novel Alias Grace by Margaret Atwood is a compelling story of a young woman convicted for murder. The novel is especially unique in its style, and although its tone remains indifferent, it conveys a unifying theme concerning injustices which women must face. And the novel gave Atwood the chance to embrace her fascination with the strong, clever, diligent, talented, thought-provoking, intelligent Grace Marks.
And so, Alias Grace is a great book unlike any other.