The character of Jeremiah the peddler (aka Dr. Jerome DuPont) in Alias Grace from LitCharts | The creators of SparkNotes
Alias Grace

Alias Grace

Jeremiah the peddler (aka Dr. Jerome DuPont) Character Analysis

A travelling salesman whom Grace meets while working at Mrs. Alderman Parkinson’s. Jeremiah is one of Grace’s few friends, and there are some hints that she might be sexually attracted to him. Jeremiah, a mysterious and nomadic person, tries unsuccessfully to convince Grace to run away with him, and then he resurfaces when Grace is in prison in the guise of Dr. Jerome DuPont, a practitioner of neuro-hypnotism (the reader does not learn that Dr. DuPont and Jeremiah are one and the same until near the end of the novel). Jeremiah is thus the person who performs the hypnosis in which it is “revealed” that Grace has been possessed by the spirit of Mary Whitney. Because Grace feels powerfully drawn to him, it seems possible that Jeremiah and Grace are in cahoots in staging the hypnosis. In a letter Grace writes to Jeremiah toward the end of the novel, after he has left Kingston and adopted a different alias, Grace writes ambiguously: “Why did you want to help me? Was it as a challenge, and to outwit the others, as with the smuggling you used to do; or was it out of affection and fellow-feeling?” This vague passage is the only “proof” that the hypnosis might have been deliberately staged by Jeremiah and Grace. Grace does see Jeremiah once more after she is released from prison; though the encounter is very brief Grace is comforted by the feeling that Jeremiah is someone with whom her secrets will always be safe.
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Jeremiah the peddler (aka Dr. Jerome DuPont) Character Timeline in Alias Grace

The timeline below shows where the character Jeremiah the peddler (aka Dr. Jerome DuPont) appears in Alias Grace. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 5
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...the two discuss his travels. Grace thinks that Dr. Jordan “must be a wanderer, like Jeremiah the peddler.” Dr. Jordan then offers Grace an apple, which she accepts; she tells him,... (full context)
Chapter 11
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...Governor’s wife hosts at her home. Mrs. Quennell then introduces Simon to a Dr. Jerome DuPont. Simon snidely thinks that the people who practice Spiritualism, which involves communing with the dead,... (full context)
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Simon and Dr. DuPont discuss DuPont’s work; he characterizes himself not as a Spiritualist but as a neuro-hypnotist. The... (full context)
Chapter 16
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...The only person whom he says he is interested in getting to know is Dr. DuPont, though he describes him as “a devotee of the Scottish crackpot Braid, and a queer... (full context)
Chapter 18
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...purchase materials to make Grace “a decent dress.” The next day, when a peddler named Jeremiah comes to the Parkinson house, Grace purchases thread and buttons from him. Jeremiah gives Grace... (full context)
Chapter 22
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...will, Grace is able to inherit her few possessions, many of which she sells to Jeremiah the peddler. Agnes helps Grace arrange Mary’s burial. After Mary is buried, Grace lays wildflowers... (full context)
Chapter 23
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...Richmond Hill at an inn, where her neighbor from the coach tries to assault her. Jeremiah the peddler shows up and defends Grace. Soon thereafter, Mr. Kinnear arrives to fetch Grace.... (full context)
Chapter 27
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...Jordan leaves, Miss Lydia comes in and tells Grace she has “an admirer” in Dr. DuPont. Grace suspects that this doctor “views [her] as a sight to be seen,” but Lydia... (full context)
Chapter 30
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...Mr. Kinnear and Nancy are both away from home, and Grace is alone with McDermott. Jeremiah the peddler visits the house and Grace is delighted to see him. “In a new... (full context)
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Jeremiah tells Grace that he is considering giving up peddling his wares in favor of working... (full context)
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...the room, causing Grace to wonder if he had been eavesdropping on her conversation with Jeremiah. Jeremiah offers to sell McDermott some shirts, in an effort to diffuse the tense situation;... (full context)
Chapter 31
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Several days after Jeremiah’s visit, a doctor comes to the house. The day prior, while trying on a dress... (full context)
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...yard and feels two arms come around her from behind. She thinks it might be Jeremiah, or McDermott, or Mr. Kinnear, but then she realizes, it is “another man, someone I... (full context)
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...in judgment upon us,” like the angels in Grace’s dream. Grace wishes she could take Jeremiah up on his offer to run away, but she does not know how to contact... (full context)
Chapter 34
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...origin of mental illness, and he is now discussing the talk over tea with Dr. DuPont. DuPont hints that he would like to try hypnotizing Grace, which annoys Simon—“Grace is his... (full context)
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When Grace serves the refreshments following Dr. Jordan’s talk, she is so shocked to see Jeremiah the peddler in the room that she nearly drops the plate she is carrying. The... (full context)
Chapter 37
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...if he is using the right methods with Grace, and he strongly considers encouraging—even attending—Dr. DuPont’s hypnosis session with Grace. (full context)
Chapter 39
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...shirt now on Mr. Kinnear’s body was one of the four that McDermott purchased from Jeremiah the peddler; she is concerned that Jeremiah will be blamed for participating in Kinnear’s murder. (full context)
Chapter 43
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...to Canada, McDermott insists that Mr. Kinnear was most likely killed by a “suspicious-looking man” (Jeremiah) who had been “hanging around” the house, which angers Grace. Grace and McDermott are imprisoned... (full context)
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...him is her trial, which began on November 3rd. She recalls searching the crowd for Jeremiah, who was not present. Jamie Walsh testified against her, which pained her because she “valued... (full context)
Chapter 45
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...question of who was wearing whose shirt, trying his best to pin some blame on Jeremiah. Finally, he says, he did his best to absolve Grace despite her insistence on wearing... (full context)
Chapter 46
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Grace says that she is to be hypnotized by Jeremiah (Dr. DuPont) when Dr. Jordan returns. The Governor’s wife has explained the hypnosis process to... (full context)
Chapter 48
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...is secretly as “eager as a schoolboy at a carnival,” hoping to be “astonished.” Dr. DuPont enters the room, leading Grace. Simon notes that Grace’s eyes are “fixed upon DuPont with... (full context)
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DuPont explains the procedure to the observers and to Grace. He then places Grace into “a... (full context)
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Simon persuades DuPont to ask Grace whether she had relations with McDermott; it is “the one thing he... (full context)
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...happened. But no one listened to me.” Soon, Mary’s spirit leaves the room and Dr. DuPont brings Grace out of her “sleep.” When Grace awakens, she says she had been dreaming... (full context)
Chapter 49
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Simon, DuPont, and Reverend Verringer remain in the library. Simon feels “unsettled, and unsure of his intellectual... (full context)
Chapter 50
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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, two years... (full context)
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...questioned her about whether Dr. Jordan ever made any sexual advances toward her. She tells Jeremiah she does not “believe everything that was being said against [Dr. Jordan], as [she knows]... (full context)
Chapter 53
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...April, she saw an advertisement for a medium named Gerald Bridges and realized it was Jeremiah. She wound up passing him on the street and he winked at her. The encounter... (full context)