Alias Grace

Alias Grace

The Governor’s Wife Character Analysis

A woman in her mid-forties, the Governor’s wife hosts twice-weekly discussion meetings in her home and is also a member of the committee Reverend Verringer heads, which is working to secure a pardon for Grace. The Governor’s wife employs Grace in her home, mostly as a seamstress, and she is kind to Grace. Dr. Simon Jordan describes her as having an “alarmed, slightly pop-eyed look.”

The Governor’s Wife Quotes in Alias Grace

The Alias Grace quotes below are all either spoken by The Governor’s Wife or refer to The Governor’s Wife. 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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The Governor’s Wife Character Timeline in Alias Grace

The timeline below shows where the character The Governor’s Wife 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
Social Class and Propriety Theme Icon
Gender, Ownership, and Power Theme Icon
...and Grace, while still imprisoned, is working in the house of the prison Governor. Of the Governor’s wife Grace says, “She must make the most of her social position and accomplishments, although an... (full context)
Storytelling and Power Theme Icon
Female Sexuality and the Nature of Women Theme Icon
Truth, Memory, and Madness Theme Icon
Grace describes the scrapbooks that the Governor’s wife and her daughters keep. The daughters, Misses Lydia and Marianne, keep letters from friends, while... (full context)
Chapter 8
Female Sexuality and the Nature of Women Theme Icon
Social Class and Propriety Theme Icon
...back to the guards. Grace is no longer allowed “the run of the house,” because the Governor’s wife is worried she will have another fainting fit. Instead she helps the laundress, Clarrie. (full context)
Chapter 11
Female Sexuality and the Nature of Women Theme Icon
Gender, Ownership, and Power Theme Icon
Justice and Religion Theme Icon
Simon arrives at the Governor’s house and meets the Governor’s wife , who looks at him with a particular expression which he knows means “she is... (full context)
Social Class and Propriety Theme Icon
Truth, Memory, and Madness Theme Icon
The Governor’s wife introduces Simon to Mrs. Quennell, a well-known Spiritualist and the leader of the weekly meetings... (full context)
Truth, Memory, and Madness Theme Icon
...Miss Lydia, one of the Governor’s daughters, arrives to ask Simon if he has seen the Governor’s wife ’s scrapbook, and Simon is relieved for the excuse to leave the conversation. (full context)
Chapter 21
Female Sexuality and the Nature of Women Theme Icon
Gender, Ownership, and Power Theme Icon
The men sit down to dinner, joined by the Governor’s wife and Miss Lydia, who Simon thinks looks like “a confection.” He privately thinks that “she... (full context)
Chapter 32
Truth, Memory, and Madness Theme Icon
...been making “odd lurches.” He is dreading the next day, Tuesday, when he must address the Governor’s wife and her friends. He tries to write a letter to his friend Edward Murchie, but... (full context)
Chapter 34
Truth, Memory, and Madness Theme Icon
Gender, Ownership, and Power Theme Icon
Simon has made it through his talk for the Governor’s wife ’s Tuesday circle, and feels that “his indisposition appears to have passed.” His speech focused... (full context)
Social Class and Propriety Theme Icon
Truth, Memory, and Madness Theme Icon
...Because Dr. Jordan is speaking at the Tuesday circle, Grace has not seen him today. The Governor’s wife has asked Grace to help prepare for the circle’s meeting, which means Grace takes her... (full context)
Social Class and Propriety Theme Icon
...Jeremiah the peddler in the room that she nearly drops the plate she is carrying. The Governor’s wife introduces Jeremiah to Grace as Dr. Jerome DuPont. DuPont asks if Grace will consent to... (full context)
Chapter 46
Truth, Memory, and Madness Theme Icon
...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 her, but Grace still feels “not at all sure... (full context)
Chapter 48
Truth, Memory, and Madness Theme Icon
Gender, Ownership, and Power Theme Icon
Simon waits in Mrs. Quennell’s library, along with the Governor’s wife , the Reverend Verringer, and Miss Lydia. It is the day of Grace’s hypnosis, and... (full context)
Chapter 49
Gender, Ownership, and Power Theme Icon
...next day Simon convinces Rachel that he is sick and needs her to go to the Governor’s wife and request from her the name of a doctor who can treat him. Once Rachel... (full context)
Chapter 50
Storytelling and Power Theme Icon
Truth, Memory, and Madness Theme Icon
Grace also writes that the Governor’s wife questioned her about whether Dr. Jordan ever made any sexual advances toward her. She tells... (full context)