The character of Mr. Kenneth MacKenzie in Alias Grace from LitCharts | The creators of SparkNotes
Alias Grace

Alias Grace

Mr. Kenneth MacKenzie Character Analysis

Grace’s lawyer in the trial of Mr. Thomas Kinnear’s murder. MacKenzie insists that Grace make up a plausible story about the day of the murders, rather than admit that she has no memory of the day, because he believes this will improve her chance of avoiding the death penalty. Though Grace is convicted as an accomplice to Kinnear’s murder, MacKenzie succeeds in commuting her sentence from a death sentence to a life in prison. When Dr. Simon Jordan meets with MacKenzie, MacKenzie claims that Grace was in love with him; “a hand placed on hers,” he says, “and she would have thrown herself into my arms.”

Mr. Kenneth MacKenzie Quotes in Alias Grace

The Alias Grace quotes below are all either spoken by Mr. Kenneth MacKenzie or refer to Mr. Kenneth MacKenzie. 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

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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Mr. Kenneth MacKenzie Character Timeline in Alias Grace

The timeline below shows where the character Mr. Kenneth MacKenzie appears in Alias Grace. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 3
Storytelling and Power Theme Icon
Female Sexuality and the Nature of Women Theme Icon
Truth, Memory, and Madness Theme Icon
...that were said about her in the paper. She mentions that her lawyer, Mr. Kenneth MacKenzie, had the idea to depict her as an idiot in an attempt to have her... (full context)
Chapter 21
Storytelling and Power Theme Icon
Female Sexuality and the Nature of Women Theme Icon
...embellished much of her account. He counsels Simon to instead meet with Grace’s lawyer, Kenneth MacKenzie, who is now working in Toronto and “has a sound head on his shoulders.” (full context)
Chapter 36
Storytelling and Power Theme Icon
Justice and Religion Theme Icon
...drag Nancy by her hair. Distressed, Grace says that this is what her lawyer, Mr. MacKenzie, told her to say in order “to save [her] own life.” She admits that the... (full context)
Chapter 43
Storytelling and Power Theme Icon
Truth, Memory, and Madness Theme Icon
Justice and Religion Theme Icon
...the Toronto prison until her trial in November. She is assigned a lawyer, Mr. Kenneth MacKenzie, in October, and he advises her to “say what must have happened, according to plausibility,... (full context)
Storytelling and Power Theme Icon
Truth, Memory, and Madness Theme Icon
Justice and Religion Theme Icon
...Grace seeing red eyes following her around was inaccurate. She said she had told Mr. MacKenzie she had been seeing red spots, and when he pressed her she clarified that they... (full context)
Storytelling and Power Theme Icon
Female Sexuality and the Nature of Women Theme Icon
Truth, Memory, and Madness Theme Icon
...had to testify, she tried her best to “remember the right answers,” and that Mr. MacKenzie did his best to argue she was “very soft and pliable, and easily imposed upon.”... (full context)
Chapter 44
Female Sexuality and the Nature of Women Theme Icon
Gender, Ownership, and Power Theme Icon
Simon is traveling by train to Toronto to meet with Mr. MacKenzie. He thinks about Rachel Humphrey, who has become his mistress, and feels relieved to be... (full context)
Chapter 45
Storytelling and Power Theme Icon
Simon meets with Mr. MacKenzie, curious to find out how he managed to save Grace from the death sentence. MacKenzie... (full context)
Storytelling and Power Theme Icon
Female Sexuality and the Nature of Women Theme Icon
Truth, Memory, and Madness Theme Icon
Simon asks specific questions about how MacKenzie argued Grace’s case. MacKenzie says he felt no guilt in “destroy[ing] the reputation of the... (full context)
Storytelling and Power Theme Icon
Simon then questions MacKenzie about Mrs. Moodie’s account of Grace. MacKenzie’s evasive answers make Simon realize that MacKenzie likely... (full context)
Female Sexuality and the Nature of Women Theme Icon
Truth, Memory, and Madness Theme Icon
Gender, Ownership, and Power Theme Icon
Finally, Simon confesses to an unshakeable feeling that Grace is lying to him. MacKenzie responds that “the stories [Grace] told should ought never to be subjected to the harsh... (full context)
Justice and Religion Theme Icon
MacKenzie concludes by saying that he was able to use “several strong petitions” to help commute... (full context)
Chapter 47
Storytelling and Power Theme Icon
Female Sexuality and the Nature of Women Theme Icon
Truth, Memory, and Madness Theme Icon
The day after his meeting with Mr. MacKenzie, Simon sets off to visit Mr. Kinnear’s former house in Richmond Hill. A housekeeper shows... (full context)