Alias Grace

Alias Grace

Grace Marks Character Analysis

Grace, the novel’s protagonist, is an Irish immigrant to Canada who, while working in the home of Mr. Thomas Kinnear, participates in murdering him and his housekeeper, Nancy Montgomery. For much of the novel, Grace narrates her story from prison, but she is ultimately pardoned and released. Though she is the only character in the novel to narrate in the first-person, Grace is nevertheless an incredibly difficult character to understand. Her motives are rarely clear, and it is hard to determine whether the account she gives is a trustworthy one. Nevertheless, the way Atwood renders Grace makes her a sympathetic character, allowing the reader to see her as a person, rather than as a monster. One of the key mysteries of Grace’s character is her sexuality. This question is central to her trial, where she is depicted not only as James McDermott’s co-conspirator, but also as his lover. Grace’s multiple experiences of sexual abuse—at the hands of doctors and prison guards, and possibly Mr. Kinnear and her own father—is a source of deep psychological pain, one that Grace has a difficult time articulating. Though there are some hints that Grace may have been attracted to her friend Jeremiah the peddler, there are also several hints throughout the novel that Grace may be a lesbian, and that she was in love with her best friend, Mary Whitney. Grace insists on several occasions that she has no interest in taking a male lover, and even though she marries Jamie Walsh on her release from prison, she does not express interest in the sexual side of their relationship (though, at the end of the novel, she admits she might by pregnant by him). Instead, Grace’s intense devotion to Mary—a combination of her love and respect for her during her life, and a deep sense of guilt over her death—suggests that there may have been an aspect of Grace’s bond with Mary that surpassed platonic love. Though this possibility is only hinted at in the novel, it is one of the many ways that Atwood manages to render Grace in a compassionate, multidimensional way, making her into a narrator that is at once unreliable and endlessly absorbing.

Grace Marks Quotes in Alias Grace

The Alias Grace quotes below are all either spoken by Grace Marks or refer to Grace Marks. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Storytelling and Power Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Anchor Books edition of Alias Grace published in 1997.
Chapter 3 Quotes

They are like birdcages; but what is being caged in? Legs, the legs of ladies; legs penned in so they cannot get out and go rubbing up against the gentlemen’s trousers. The Governor’s wife never says legs, although the newspapers said legs when they were talking about Nancy, with her dead legs sticking out from under the washtub.

Related Characters: Grace Marks (speaker), Nancy Montgomery, The Governor’s Wife
Related Symbols: Clothing
Page Number: 22
Explanation and Analysis:
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All the same, 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.

Murderer is merely brutal. It’s like a hammer, or a lump of metal. I would rather be a murderess than a murderer, if those are the only choices.

Related Characters: Grace Marks (speaker)
Related Symbols: Clothing, Flowers
Page Number: 22-23
Explanation and Analysis:
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Chapter 13 Quotes

When I was quite young, six or seven, I put my hand on my mother’s belly, which was all round and tight, and I said What is in there, another mouth to feed, and my mother smiled sadly and said Yes I fear so, and I had a picture of an enormous mouth, on a head like the flying angel heads on the gravestones, but with teeth and all, eating away at my mother from the inside, and I began to cry because I thought it would kill her.

Related Characters: Grace Marks (speaker), Grace’s Mother
Related Symbols: Mouths
Page Number: 107
Explanation and Analysis:
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Chapter 16 Quotes

It would be helpful to me, if she were indeed mad, or at least a little madder than she appears to be; but thus far she has manifested a composure that a duchess might envy. I have never known any woman to be so thoroughly self-contained.

Related Characters: Dr. Simon Jordan (speaker), Grace Marks, Dr. Edward Murchie
Page Number: 132
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Chapter 19 Quotes

And since that time I have thought, why is it that women have chosen to sew such flags, and then to lay them on the tops of beds? For they make the bed the most noticeable thing in a room. And then I have thought, it’s for a warning. Because you may think a bed is a peaceful thing, Sir, and to you it may mean rest and comfort and a good night’s sleep. But it isn’t so for everyone; and there are many dangerous things that may take place in a bed. It is where we are born, and that is our first peril in life; and it is where the women give birth, which is often their last. And it is where the act takes place between men and women […] and some call it love, and others despair, or else merely an indignity which they must suffer through.

Related Characters: Grace Marks (speaker), Dr. Simon Jordan
Related Symbols: Quilts
Page Number: 161
Explanation and Analysis:
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Chapter 22 Quotes

[…] and one day they did see a bear, and Nancy ran away screaming, and climbed a tree. Sally said the bear was more frightened than Nancy was, and Nancy said it was probably a gentleman bear and it was running away from something dangerous that it had never seen before, but might have caught a glimpse of as she climbed the tree; and they laughed very much.

Related Characters: Grace Marks (speaker), Nancy Montgomery
Page Number: 200-201
Explanation and Analysis:
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Chapter 25 Quotes

What was in there for wiping was an old copy of the Godey’s Ladies’ Book; I always looked at the pictures before using them. Most were of the latest fashions, but some were of duchesses from England and high-society ladies in New York and the like. You should never let your picture be in a magazine or newspaper if you can help it, as you never know what ends your face may be made to serve, by others, once it has got out of your control.

Related Characters: Grace Marks (speaker)
Related Symbols: Clothing
Page Number: 216
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Chapter 26 Quotes

And they do say that cleanliness is next to Godliness; and sometimes, when I have seen the pure white clouds billowing in the sky after a rain, I used to think that it was as if the angels themselves were hanging out their washing; for I reasoned that someone must do it, as everything in Heaven must be very clean and fresh.

Related Characters: Grace Marks (speaker)
Related Symbols: Clothing
Page Number: 225
Explanation and Analysis:
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So there I was, pretending not to watch, and there he was, pretending not to be watched; and you may see the very same thing, Sir, at any polite gathering of society ladies and gentlemen. There is a good deal that can be seen slantwise, especially by the ladies, who do not wish to be caught staring. They can also see through veils, and window curtains, and over the tops of fans; and it is a good thing they can see in this way, or they would never see much of anything. But those of us who do not have to be bothered with all the veils and fans manage to see a good deal more.

Related Characters: Grace Marks (speaker), Dr. Simon Jordan, James McDermott
Related Symbols: Clothing
Page Number: 229
Explanation and Analysis:
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Chapter 27 Quotes

In fact I have no idea of what kind of a sunrise there was. In prison they make the windows high up, so you cannot climb out of them I suppose, but also so you cannot see out of them either, or at least not onto the outside world. They do not want you looking out, they do not want you thinking the word out, they do not want you looking at the horizon and thinking you might someday drop below it yourself, like the sail of a ship departing or a horse and rider vanishing down a far hillside.

Related Characters: Grace Marks (speaker)
Related Symbols: Windows
Page Number: 237
Explanation and Analysis:
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But is it red where it most counts, says the other, a fire in a treetop is no use at all, it must be in a fireplace to cast enough heat, in a little cookstove, you know why God made women with skirts, it’s so they can be pulled up over their heads and tied at the top, that way you don’t get so much noise out of them, I hate a screeching slut, women should be born without mouths on them, the only thing of use in them is below the waist.

Related Characters: Grace Marks (speaker), The Guards
Related Symbols: Clothing, Mouths
Page Number: 240
Explanation and Analysis:
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Chapter 28 Quotes

Then I say, I thank you from the bottom of my heart, Sir, this radish was like the nectar of the Gods. He looks surprised to hear me use such an expression; but that’s only because he doesn’t remember that I have read the poetry of Sir Walter Scott.

Because he was so thoughtful as to bring me this radish, I set to work willingly to tell my story, and to make it as interesting as I can, and rich in incident, as a sort of return gift to him; for I have always believed that one good turn deserves another.

Related Characters: Grace Marks (speaker), Dr. Simon Jordan
Page Number: 247
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Chapter 33 Quotes

It’s dark as a stone in this room, and hot as a roasting heart; if you stare into the darkness with your eyes open you are sure to see something after a time. I hope it will not be flowers. But this is the time they like to grow, the red flowers, the shining red peonies which are like satin, which are like splashes of paint. The soil for them is emptiness, it is empty space and silence. I whisper, Talk to me; because I would rather have talking than the slow gardening that takes place in silence, with the red satin petals dripping down the wall.

Related Characters: Grace Marks (speaker)
Related Symbols: Flowers
Page Number: 297
Explanation and Analysis:
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It is morning, and time to get up; and today I must go on with the story. Or the story must go on with me, carrying me inside it, along the track it must travel, straight to the end, weeping like a train and deaf and single-eyed and locked tight shut; although I hurl myself against the walls of it and scream and cry, and beg to God himself to let me out.

Related Characters: Grace Marks (speaker)
Page Number: 298
Explanation and Analysis:
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Chapter 35 Quotes

Grace continues her stitching. She does not look up. “Nobody has cared about that before, Sir,” she says. “They told me I must be lying; they kept wanting to know more. Except for Mr. Kenneth MacKenzie the lawyer. But I am sure that even he did not believe me.”

“I will believe you,” says Simon. It is, he realizes, a fairly large undertaking.

Related Characters: Dr. Simon Jordan (speaker), Grace Marks
Page Number: 307
Explanation and Analysis:
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Chapter 36 Quotes

I said, What do you want here, but he did not answer, he just kept on being silver, so I went out to milk the cow; because the only thing to do about God is to go on with what you were doing anyway, since you can’t ever stop him or get any reasons out of him. There is a Do this or a Do that with God, but not any Because.

Related Characters: Grace Marks (speaker)
Page Number: 316
Explanation and Analysis:
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Chapter 37 Quotes

But he’ll pry it out of her yet. He’s got the hook in her mouth, but can he pull her out? Up, out of the abyss, up to the light. Out of the deep blue sea.

He wonders why he’s thinking in such drastic terms. He means her well, he tells himself. He thinks of it as a rescue, surely he does.

But does she? If she has anything to hide, she may want to stay in the water, in the dark, in her element. She may be afraid she won’t be able to breathe, otherwise.

Related Characters: Dr. Simon Jordan (speaker), Grace Marks
Page Number: 322
Explanation and Analysis:
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Chapter 38 Quotes

Then I put on a clean apron, and stirred up the fire in the summer kitchen stove, which still had some embers left in it, and burnt my own clothes; I didn’t like the thought of wearing them ever again, as they would remind me of things I wished to forget. It may have been my fancy, but a smell went up from them like scorching meat; and it was like my own dirtied and cast-off skin that was burning.

Related Characters: Grace Marks (speaker)
Related Symbols: Clothing
Page Number: 333
Explanation and Analysis:
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Chapter 39 Quotes

I was horrified, and asked how could he do such a thing; and he said what did I mean, as I was wearing Nancy’s dress and bonnet myself. And I said it was not the same thing, and he said it was; and I said at least I had not taken the boots off a corpse.

Related Symbols: Clothing
Page Number: 338
Explanation and Analysis:
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Chapter 43 Quotes

He wanted me to tell my story in what he called a coherent way, but would often accuse me of wandering, and become annoyed with me; and at last he said that the right thing was, not to tell the story as I truly remembered it, which nobody could be expected to make any sense of; but to tell a story that would hang together, and that had some chance of being believed.

Related Characters: Grace Marks (speaker), Mr. Kenneth MacKenzie
Page Number: 357
Explanation and Analysis:
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Chapter 46 Quotes

I hope I was named after it. I would like to be found. I would like to see. Or to be seen. I wonder if, in the eye of God, it amounts to the same thing. As it says in the Bible, For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face.

If it is face to face, there must be two looking.

Related Characters: Grace Marks (speaker)
Page Number: 379
Explanation and Analysis:
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Chapter 47 Quotes

Then there are his own requirements. There is passion in Grace somewhere, he’s certain of it, although it would take some hunting for. And she’d be grateful to him, albeit reluctantly. Gratitude by itself does not enthral [sic] him, but he likes the idea of reluctance.

Related Characters: Dr. Simon Jordan (speaker), Grace Marks, Mrs. Constance Jordan
Page Number: 388
Explanation and Analysis:
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Chapter 48 Quotes

“You killed her,” breathes Lydia. “I always thought so.” She sounds, if anything, admiring.

“The kerchief killed her. Hands held it,” says the voice. “She had to die. The wages of sin is death. And this time the gentleman died as well, for once. Share and share alike!”

Related Characters: Grace Marks (speaker), Mary Whitney (speaker), Miss Lydia (speaker), Dr. Simon Jordan, Mr. Thomas Kinnear, Nancy Montgomery
Related Symbols: Clothing
Page Number: 401
Explanation and Analysis:
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Chapter 51 Quotes

The room was so large it was almost frightening to me, and I pulled the sheet up over my head to make it darker; and then I felt as if my face was dissolving and turning into someone else’s face, and I recalled my poor mother in her shroud, as they were sliding her into the sea, and how I thought that she had already changed inside the sheet, and was a different woman, and now the same thing was happening to me. Of course I wasn’t dying, but it was in a way similar.

Related Characters: Grace Marks (speaker), Grace’s Mother
Page Number: 442-443
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Janet gave me a pair of summer gloves, almost new, I don’t know where she got them. And then she began to cry, and when I asked her why she was doing that, she said it was because I was to have a happy ending, and it was just like a book; and I wondered what books she’d been reading.

Related Characters: Grace Marks (speaker), Janet
Page Number: 446
Explanation and Analysis:
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Chapter 53 Quotes

But three of the triangles in my Tree will be different. One will be white, from the petticoat I still have that was Mary Whitney’s; one will be faded yellowish, from the prison nightdress I begged as a keepsake when I left there. And the third will be a pale cotton, a pink and white floral, cut from the dress of Nancy’s that she had on the first day I was at Mr. Kinnear’s, and that I wore on the ferry to Lewiston, when I was running away.

I will embroider around each one of them with red feather-stitching, to blend them in as a part of the pattern.

And so we will all be together.

Related Characters: Grace Marks (speaker), Mary Whitney, Mr. Thomas Kinnear, Nancy Montgomery
Related Symbols: Quilts
Page Number: 460
Explanation and Analysis:
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Grace Marks Character Timeline in Alias Grace

The timeline below shows where the character Grace Marks appears in Alias Grace. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 1
Storytelling and Power Theme Icon
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It is April, 1851, and twenty-three-year-old Grace Marks is about to begin her eighth year of imprisonment in the Kingston Penitentiary. Grace... (full context)
Chapter 2
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...poem, which tells the story of the Kinnear and Montgomery murders. The poem reads, “Now Grace, she loved good Thomas Kinnear, / McDermott he loved Grace, / And ’twas these loves... (full context)
Chapter 3
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The year is now 1859 and Grace, while still imprisoned, is working in the house of the prison Governor. Of the Governor’s... (full context)
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Grace says that sometimes when she is dusting at the Governor’s house, she looks in the... (full context)
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Grace describes the scrapbooks that the Governor’s wife and her daughters keep. The daughters, Misses Lydia... (full context)
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Grace reveals that today she is waiting not for the ladies who usually come to the... (full context)
Chapter 4
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Grace is revived and scolded for her “hysterics,” since the doctor’s bag was actually full of... (full context)
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Grace is held in solitary confinement for several days, during which time she thinks often of... (full context)
Chapter 5
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A young man enters Grace’s cell and introduces himself as Dr. Simon Jordan. Grace immediately asks whether the other doctor... (full context)
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Dr. Jordan tells Grace he is from Massachusetts and the two discuss his travels. Grace thinks that Dr. Jordan... (full context)
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Dr. Jordan asks Grace what the apple makes her think of. She knows that he wants her to guess... (full context)
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Dr. Jordan tells Grace he would like to help her, saying that if she will talk he will listen.... (full context)
Chapter 6
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...Dr. Workman tells Simon that he should contact a Dr. Samuel Bannerling for information about Grace Marks. Dr. Workman was appointed to his post at the asylum only a few weeks... (full context)
Chapter 7
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...Simon attempts to write back to his mother. When he gets bored, he takes out Grace’s portrait and reflects on his meeting with her. Grace was “straighter, taller, [and] more self-possessed”... (full context)
Chapter 8
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Grace is sewing in the Governor’s house. She notes how, on days that she goes to... (full context)
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Dr. Jordan arrives to speak with Grace. Grace notes, “The door must be kept open at all times because there cannot be... (full context)
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Eventually, Grace becomes comfortable talking to Dr. Jordan, and enjoys the feeling of watching him take notes,... (full context)
Chapter 9
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...chapter consists of a letter from Dr. Bannerling to Dr. Simon Jordan. Dr. Bannerling characterizes Grace as “an accomplished actress and a most practised liar” who has never actually been insane.... (full context)
Chapter 10
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...arrives at the Reverend’s house. Reverend Verringer is working on a petition in favor of Grace’s release, and hopes that Simon can provide him with a favorable report of Grace’s condition.... (full context)
Chapter 11
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...the nature of the mind, and they also discuss Simon’s approach to his work with Grace (with Mrs. Quennell piping up to invite Simon to one of her weekly “spiritual Thursdays”... (full context)
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Left alone, Simon finds himself thinking of Grace, comparing her with Lydia. He thinks Grace, in comparison with the photo he’s seen of... (full context)
Chapter 12
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It is the ninth day Grace has been visited by Dr. Jordan, and this time he has brought her a potato.... (full context)
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Dr. Jordan tries, to no avail, to prompt Grace to talk about what else one might find underground, aside from potatoes. (He is trying... (full context)
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Dr. Jordan asks Grace to begin telling her life story. Annoyed, she replies, “I was born, Sir, like anyone... (full context)
Chapter 13
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Grace begins narrating her life story. “As they say, Sir,” she tells Dr. Jordan, “you cannot... (full context)
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Grace describes her younger self as “a little pitcher with big ears.” By eavesdropping she learned... (full context)
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Grace’s father, a stonemason by trade, was an alcoholic and struggled to find work. When a... (full context)
Chapter 14
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Grace and her family go to Belfast to board a ship to Canada. Grace’s mother sees... (full context)
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Grace is in shock. She says, “all my grief became concentrated, so to speak, on the... (full context)
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The final thing Grace tells Dr. Jordan about the sea voyage is that her mother’s teapot, which had been... (full context)
Chapter 15
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Grace and her family finally land in Quebec, where Grace buys onions for her siblings; the... (full context)
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Soon, Grace’s father tells her it is time for her to “earn [her] own bread,” though she... (full context)
Chapter 16
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...saying he envies him “for having a heart to bestow.” Simon describes his visits with Grace, and how he has been “trying in vain to open her up like an oyster.”... (full context)
Chapter 17
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...of coming back to life.” Simon awakens in the morning, realizing that his conversation with Grace has prompted this dream; “one father leads to another,” he thinks. (full context)
Chapter 18
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Grace notices that Dr. Jordan “looks more disarranged than usual, and as if he has something... (full context)
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Grace says that she has “come to a happier part of [her] story,” where she will... (full context)
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Grace says that she “liked [Mary] at once.”  Mary takes Grace under her wing and teaches... (full context)
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Mary helps Grace bathe and wash her clothes. The two then go shopping in Toronto to purchase materials... (full context)
Chapter 19
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At the end of each of Grace’s first two months of work, her father comes to the Parkinson house and demands her... (full context)
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Grace describes for Dr. Jordan how she and Mary did the washing. She recalls how, for... (full context)
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Dr. Jordan asks Grace to pause so he can catch up in his notetaking. Watching him write, she thinks... (full context)
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Grace and Mary take two of the winter quilts inside to mend them. One, Grace remembers,... (full context)
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Grace gives a summary of the autumn at the Parkinson house. She remembers watching migrating geese... (full context)
Chapter 20
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Grace moves forward to narrating the month of December at the Parkinson household. Her father sends... (full context)
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“Real winter” sets in and Grace begins to notice something is different about Mary; “her smell had changed, from nutmegs to... (full context)
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...writes out a will that reads: “If I die, my things are to go to Grace Marks.” Grace accompanies Mary to and from the doctor’s house. Mary is in intense pain... (full context)
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Agnes helps Grace prepare Mary’s body. Then Grace suddenly hears Mary’s voice whisper, Let me in. Grace panics,... (full context)
Chapter 21
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Simon leaves the Governor’s house, shaken by Grace’s story. He reflects that, though he has seen dead women as part of his medical... (full context)
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Simon arrives at the Reverend’s house and the two men discuss Simon’s progress with Grace. Simon shares that he has read Susanna Moodie’s account of Grace and would like to... (full context)
Chapter 22
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Grace meets with Dr. Jordan, who has brought her a parsnip (trying unsuccessfully again to prompt... (full context)
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Because Mary has written a will, Grace is able to inherit her few possessions, many of which she sells to Jeremiah the... (full context)
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Grace leaves the Parkinson house soon after Mary’s death, bouncing around from job to job. While... (full context)
Chapter 23
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Grace makes the long journey to Richmond Hill. She has very few possessions, but she brings... (full context)
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Grace arrives in Richmond Hill at an inn, where her neighbor from the coach tries to... (full context)
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Mr. Kinnear drives Grace to his home in his wagon. When they arrive, Grace hears chopping from the back... (full context)
Chapter 24
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While Grace is unpacking her things in her new room, Nancy arrives to greet her. Grace notes... (full context)
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Dr. Jordan, reading aloud from Grace’s confession, comments, “And then everything went on very quietly for a fortnight,” to which Grace... (full context)
Chapter 25
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Grace rises at dawn her first morning at Mr. Kinnear’s house. She uses the privy, and... (full context)
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Nancy comes down to the kitchen while Grace is making tea. When Grace prepares to take Mr. Kinnear’s tea upstairs, Nancy insists that... (full context)
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Later that day Grace and Nancy have their “first falling out” while Grace is “doing up Mr. Kinnear’s room.”... (full context)
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...then tells the women he noticed a shirt of his was missing a button, and Grace notes that “Nancy had been in the wrong twice, for that shirt must have been... (full context)
Chapter 26
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Grace tells Dr. Jordan that “Nancy was very changeable, two-faced you might call her, and it... (full context)
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While Nancy takes her meal in the dining room with Mr. Kinnear, Grace has to “make do with McDermott.” She “set[s] to work to draw him out,” and... (full context)
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McDermott starts to “make sheep’s eyes” at Grace, asking questions about her romantic life and making suggestive comments. When Grace tells him “that... (full context)
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Nancy helps Grace with the butter and they discuss Mr. Kinnear’s tense relationship with his half brother, who... (full context)
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Night falls and everyone prepares for bed. Nancy asks Grace to sleep with her because she is afraid of sleeping alone when Mr. Kinnear is... (full context)
Chapter 27
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Grace wakes in the prison and dresses for breakfast, though she must first attend a whipping.... (full context)
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Grace is escorted by two guards to the Governor’s house. The guards make horrendous sexual comments... (full context)
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At the Governor’s house, Grace spends the morning mending lace. Dr. Jordan arrives, this time without any “item,” such as... (full context)
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After Dr. Jordan leaves, Miss Lydia comes in and tells Grace she has “an admirer” in Dr. DuPont. Grace suspects that this doctor “views [her] as... (full context)
Chapter 28
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The next day Dr. Jordan brings Grace a radish he bought at market. He tells Grace he has begun digging a kitchen... (full context)
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Grace picks up with the night she and Nancy went to bed together because Mr. Kinnear... (full context)
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Mr. Kinnear’s friends arrive for dinner, and Nancy has Grace wait table. Mr. Kinnear’s friends crudely tease Grace about her attractiveness, telling her she should... (full context)
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On Sunday, Nancy asks Grace to accompany her to church, lending her a dress, bonnet, and gloves. Grace notices that... (full context)
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Later in the week McDermott tells Grace that Nancy has given him his one month’s notice. He claims he “[does] not care... (full context)
Chapter 29
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Grace begins to have arguments with Nancy. “But,” she says, “I so far remembered my place... (full context)
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Dr. Jordan interjects to say that in McDermott’s confession, he stated that it was Grace who wanted to murder Nancy and Mr. Kinnear, by poisoning their food. Grace replies, “Just... (full context)
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In the narrative of Grace’s past, the next Wednesday is Grace’s sixteenth birthday. Nancy tells Grace she can have her... (full context)
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Grace walks to the orchard, feeling very lonely. Listening to the birdsong, she reflects “that the... (full context)
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Grace awakens because she feels she is being watched. She sees a man standing near her... (full context)
Chapter 30
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Several days pass; Grace has been at Mr. Kinnear’s for almost a fortnight. Mr. Kinnear and Nancy are both... (full context)
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Jeremiah tells Grace that he is considering giving up peddling his wares in favor of working at fairs... (full context)
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McDermott angrily enters the room, causing Grace to wonder if he had been eavesdropping on her conversation with Jeremiah. Jeremiah offers to... (full context)
Chapter 31
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Mr. Kinnear calls for Nancy, who is still outside with the doctor. Grace answers and says Nancy is lying down, because she thinks Nancy “might not want it... (full context)
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The day has become hot and still, and Grace labors over the kitchen floor, scrubbing on her knees with her dress pulled between her... (full context)
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That night, Nancy and Mr. Kinnear dine together, while Grace eats in the kitchen with McDermott, wondering what Mr. Kinnear will do when he finds... (full context)
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Grace tells McDermott she is going to bed, but instead she listens at the parlor door,... (full context)
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Grace has a difficult time sleeping, because she is terrified of the thunderstorm that moves overhead.... (full context)
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When Grace awakens she finds that her nightdress is wet and her feet are dirty. She worries... (full context)
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Grace notices that Dr. Jordan is furiously taking notes and she feels glad that she “can... (full context)
Chapter 32
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...reputation, particularly in the eyes of the Reverend Verringer, might suffer. He has considered asking Grace for advice on how to hire a maid, but has decided against it because “he... (full context)
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Listening to Grace that day, Simon feels slightly better, as Grace “represents to him some goal or accomplishment.”... (full context)
Chapter 33
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Grace tells herself: “Soon the day will break […] A Saturday. The breaking day. The day... (full context)
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Grace tries to remember what Mr. Kinnear looked like so she can tell Dr. Jordan about... (full context)
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Grace awakens. She realizes, with a sense of horror, that today she must finish narrating her... (full context)
Chapter 34
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...talk over tea with Dr. DuPont. DuPont hints that he would like to try hypnotizing Grace, which annoys Simon—“Grace is his territory; he must repel poachers,” he thinks. DuPont insists that... (full context)
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...point of view switches in the middle of a chapter, with the perspective shifting to Grace. Because Dr. Jordan is speaking at the Tuesday circle, Grace has not seen him today.... (full context)
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When Grace serves the refreshments following Dr. Jordan’s talk, she is so shocked to see Jeremiah the... (full context)
Chapter 35
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Simon meets with Grace to continue hearing her narration; her story has “come at last to the murders.” Simon... (full context)
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Grace says that Nancy informed both her and McDermott that they were to leave in two... (full context)
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Grace says that Nancy returned from her friend’s house and dined with Grace and McDermott. Nancy... (full context)
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That night, at Nancy’s suggestion, Grace and Nancy went to bed in Mr. Kinnear’s room. According to Grace, Nancy insisted that... (full context)
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That night Grace had two dreams. In the first dream she was visited by Mary Whitney, who appeared... (full context)
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Surprised, Simon asks Grace to confirm that she had this dream before the murders took place. Grace assents, adding... (full context)
Chapter 36
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Grace tells Simon that she woke up at dawn that Saturday to the sound of a... (full context)
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Grace left the kitchen again, this time to milk the cow. When she returned she found... (full context)
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McDermott left the kitchen and Grace heard him pick up the axe. She says she could not think what to do,... (full context)
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Simon presses Grace about the many details listed in her confession—such as her saying she witnessed McDermott drag... (full context)
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Simon asks Grace what the next thing she can remember is. Grace says she found herself standing by... (full context)
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Grace went into the kitchen to carry on her daily duties, and when Mr. Kinnear came... (full context)
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...evening, Mr. Kinnear came downstairs for dinner and was very worried about Nancy. McDermott asked Grace to call Mr. Kinnear into the kitchen so he could “shoot him on the stone... (full context)
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Simon tells Grace that, according to Jamie Walsh’s testimony, Grace was standing by the pump at the yard... (full context)
Chapter 37
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...been pulling hard on a heavy rope.” He’s disappointed that he hasn’t gained access to Grace’s “missing memory.” He wonders, “How much of her story can he allow himself to believe?... (full context)
Chapter 38
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Grace continues with her story; it is not in quotation marks, so it is as if... (full context)
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Grace recalls waking up on her bed with the door open and “the light […] already... (full context)
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After Grace suggests that they go to “some other bed,” as her bed is very narrow, McDermott... (full context)
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In Nancy’s room, Grace sees that the bed is “all spattered with dark blood,”; a book lying in the... (full context)
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Discussing the bloody book causes McDermott to become more serious, and Grace seizes the opportunity to distract him from raping her by suggesting that they pack their... (full context)
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Before leaving, Grace tidies the house, even emptying Nancy’s chamber pot, as she feels that leaving it full... (full context)
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Grace and McDermott leave the house at eleven that night. McDermott starts talking about hiring servants... (full context)
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Grace begins to doze off; the last thing she remembers before falling asleep is “the feel... (full context)
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McDermott becomes angry and holds Grace down by her hair, preparing to rape her. She bites him on the ear and... (full context)
Chapter 39
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Grace and McDermott arrive in Toronto around five in the morning, and McDermott insists on breakfasting... (full context)
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Grace convinces McDermott to change his clothes and she does the same. The moment he leaves... (full context)
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Grace and McDermott board the ferry with Charley Horse, whom they have taken with them in... (full context)
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...as a result, “the Customs Officer in Lewiston put[s] a duty” on these two items. Grace and McDermott do not have the money to pay this duty, so they are forced... (full context)
Chapter 40
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Grace recalls the dream she had on the night she spent at the Lewiston inn. She... (full context)
Chapter 42
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Simon awakens, but he “knows he must still be asleep, because Grace Marks is bending over him in the close darkness, her loosened hair brushing his face.”... (full context)
Chapter 43
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Grace reports that Dr. Jordan has left Kingston for Toronto. She misses his company and worries... (full context)
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Grace is arrested first, followed by McDermott. As the two are transported back across Lake Ontario... (full context)
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An inquest is scheduled to be held soon after Grace’s arrest, and Grace begins to worry because she can “see that feeling [is] running very... (full context)
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Grace thinks, “I will tell Dr. Jordan about this, as he likes to hear about such... (full context)
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The Inquest takes place in City Hall, in front of a large audience. Though Grace truly feels as if she had not been “present at [the murders] at all,” she... (full context)
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Grace is held for three months in the Toronto prison until her trial in November. She... (full context)
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Grace recalls that the last time she met with Dr. Jordan he asked if she remembered... (full context)
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Grace thinks that the next thing Dr. Jordan will want to hear about when she sees... (full context)
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Grace says that when she had to testify, she tried her best to “remember the right... (full context)
Chapter 45
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Simon meets with Mr. MacKenzie, curious to find out how he managed to save Grace from the death sentence. MacKenzie explains that the Grace-McDermott case was dumped into his lap... (full context)
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Simon asks specific questions about how MacKenzie argued Grace’s case. MacKenzie says he felt no guilt in “destroy[ing] the reputation of the unfortunate Montgomery... (full context)
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Simon then questions MacKenzie about Mrs. Moodie’s account of Grace. MacKenzie’s evasive answers make Simon realize that MacKenzie likely invented the idea of Grace being... (full context)
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Finally, Simon confesses to an unshakeable feeling that Grace is lying to him. MacKenzie responds that “the stories [Grace] told should ought never to... (full context)
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...concludes by saying that he was able to use “several strong petitions” to help commute Grace’s death sentence. He explains: “By that time the death sentence had been pronounced against both... (full context)
Chapter 46
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Grace wonders when Dr. Jordan will return from Toronto. She knows he must be investigating whether... (full context)
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Earlier in the day, Grace had bathed along with her fellow prisoners. The same woman who earlier teased Grace about... (full context)
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Grace says that she is to be hypnotized by Jeremiah (Dr. DuPont) when Dr. Jordan returns.... (full context)
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Grace is now spending the evening doing some knitting, busying herself with thinking about what she... (full context)
Chapter 47
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...the bush growing over Nancy’s grave, “with some half-formed notion of taking it back to Grace,” but then he reconsiders. (full context)
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On the train back to Kingston, Simon realizes that “Grace Marks is the only woman he’s ever met that he would wish to marry.” He... (full context)
Chapter 48
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...with the Governor’s wife, the Reverend Verringer, and Miss Lydia. It is the day of Grace’s hypnosis, and Simon is secretly as “eager as a schoolboy at a carnival,” hoping to... (full context)
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DuPont explains the procedure to the observers and to Grace. He then places Grace into “a neuro-hypnotic sleep,” a phenomenon similar to one that can... (full context)
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Simon persuades DuPont to ask Grace whether she had relations with McDermott; it is “the one thing he most wants to... (full context)
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Mary begs Simon not to tell Grace that she is being possessed. When Simon asks why, Mary replies, “Do you want to... (full context)
Chapter 49
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...trying to decide what he will do next. On the train he also thinks about Grace “waiting for his footfall at the door.” He falls asleep and dreams of Grace; when... (full context)
Chapter 50
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The third letter is from Grace to Dr. Jordan. She writes that when she learned he had left for good she... (full context)
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The fifth letter is from Grace to Jeremiah, who is now going by the name Geraldo Ponti. It is dated 1861,... (full context)
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...engaged to one Faith Cartwright—though, she writes, “he persists in believing that [Faith] is called Grace.” (full context)
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...to Dr. Bannerling. He writes to request Dr. Bannerling’s support in securing a pardon for Grace, saying, “It moves me to tears to think how this poor woman has been wronged... (full context)
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...the Reverend “be pleased to desist from pestering” him with further requests for assistance with Grace’s pardon. (full context)
Chapter 51
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Grace opens this chapter by saying: “I have often thought of writing to you and informing... (full context)
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That night Grace is “made a fuss of” and allowed to sleep in the Warden’s house. She feels... (full context)
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After breakfast, Janet asks Grace why she seems so depressed, and Grace replies that she has no family or friends... (full context)
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Janet helps Grace unpack the box of her things that was put into storage upon her imprisonment. Most... (full context)
Chapter 52
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Grace leaves the Penitentiary on August 7, 1872. The Warden and Janet will be accompanying her... (full context)
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Grace arrives in Ithaca and comes face to face with Jamie Walsh, who collapses at her... (full context)
Chapter 53
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Grace says that it is “almost thirty years to the day, since when not yet sixteen... (full context)
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Grace says that two months ago, in April, she saw an advertisement for a medium named... (full context)
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Grace says that “things go on very well” between her and her husband, but that she... (full context)
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Grace adds that Jamie always begins to undress her after she finishes “a few stories of... (full context)
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Grace says she has something else to tell Dr. Jordan that she has shared with no... (full context)
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Grace says that on the afternoons when she sits on her verandah she works on a... (full context)