Alias Grace

Alias Grace


Margaret Atwood

Teachers and parents! Our Teacher Edition on Alias Grace makes teaching easy.


In Alias Grace, clothing is a symbol of identity—and particularly of identity’s malleability. From a young age, Grace is keenly attuned to the way that clothes not only function as a status symbol, but…

read analysis of Clothing


Somewhat paradoxically, windows in Alias Grace are associated with confinement. The windows in the penitentiary are placed high up in the walls so that prisoners cannot see out of them, and when Grace’s mother dies…

read analysis of Windows


In Alias Grace, mouths are associated with violence, and particularly with the way male-dominated society systematically disempowers women. For example, when Grace’s father refers to his children as mouths to feed, young Grace imagines…

read analysis of Mouths


Flowers in Alias Grace are directly related to women’s deaths. Grace has a recurring hallucination of a bloody Nancy Montgomery exploding into red flower petals. Grace’s mother’s teapot, which is covered in a flowered…

read analysis of Flowers


Quilts are an explicit symbol of female sexuality. Quilts are made by women and, as Grace points out, they are usually displayed on beds, making “the bed the most noticeable thing in a room.” Grace…

read analysis of Quilts

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