Cat’s Eye

by

Margaret Atwood

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A childhood friend of Elaine’s, whose family lives nearby. Grace is one year older than Carol and Elaine, and before Cordelia joins their friend circle she leads the group. She is pale and wears glasses, and the girls usually work on movie star coloring books together or do other activities Grace likes because she threatens to go home with a headache if they do not. All of her clothing comes from the Eaton’s catalogue, which indicates that her family is not as wealthy as the other kids—Elaine does not pick up on this at first, as she also comes from a low-income background. Grace does not display very many independent characteristics outside of her interest in playing school, cutting out photos from magazines, and playing along with Cordelia’s cruel games.

Grace Smeath Quotes in Cat’s Eye

The Cat’s Eye quotes below are all either spoken by Grace Smeath or refer to Grace Smeath . 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:
Art, Science, and Religion Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Anchor Books edition of Cat’s Eye published in 1998.
Part 5 Quotes

But Cordelia doesn’t do these things or have this power over me because she’s my enemy. […] In the war there were enemies. Our boys and the boys from Our Lady of Perpetual Help are enemies. […] With enemies you can feel hatred, and anger. But Cordelia is my friend. She likes me, she wants to help me, they all do. They are my friends, my girl friends, my best friends. I have never had any before and I’m terrified of losing them. I want to please. Hatred would have been easier. With hatred, I would have known what to do. Hatred is clear, metallic, one-handed, unwavering; unlike love.

Related Characters: Elaine Risley (speaker), Cordelia, Grace Smeath , Carol Campbell
Page Number: 131-132
Explanation and Analysis:

We cross the wooden bridge on the way home from school. I am walking behind the others. Through the broken boards I can see the ground below. I remember my brother burying his jar full of puries, of waterbabies and cat’s eyes, a long time ago, down there somewhere under the bridge. The jar is still there in the earth, shining in the dark, in secret. I think about myself going down there alone despite the sinister unseen men, digging up the treasure, having all that mystery in my hands. I could never find the jar, because I don’t have the map. But I like to think about things the others know nothing about.

Related Symbols: Cat’s Eye Marble, The Bridge
Page Number: 156
Explanation and Analysis:
Get the entire Cat’s Eye LitChart as a printable PDF.
Cat’s Eye PDF

Grace Smeath Character Timeline in Cat’s Eye

The timeline below shows where the character Grace Smeath appears in Cat’s Eye. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Part Three: Empire Bloomers
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Carol introduces Elaine to her best friend Grace Smeath, who is a year older and in the next grade. Elaine stops visiting the... (full context)
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At Christmas, Elaine gets gifts from Carol and Grace—bath salts and a coloring book, as well as a photo album and a red plastic... (full context)
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Grace starts inviting Elaine over without Carol, which she says is because of her mother’s bad... (full context)
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At school, Elaine skips rope with Carol and Grace, though she finds the songs unsettling. The sun starts to set later, and the girls... (full context)
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...world, inevitable with the atom bomb; only insects will survive. Elaine thinks about Carol and Grace, and they already feel less real to her. Elaine’s mother pays them to collect blueberries,... (full context)
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...grown up out of the mud around it. A third girl has joined Carol and Grace: Cordelia. The three of them watch from the apple trees as Elaine comes home, but... (full context)
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Elaine, Carol, Grace, and Cordelia play dress-up with Cordelia’s clothing; she wants them to perform plays, but they... (full context)
Part Four: Deadly Nightshade
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Back in Elaine’s childhood memories, she walks home from school with Cordelia. At Grace’s house, Cordelia realizes that the Smeaths order all their clothing from Eaton’s Catalogue and judges... (full context)
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Grace says that God makes babies, which ends their discussion. However, Elaine has her doubts, as... (full context)
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Elaine goes to the cellar at Grace’s house and sees Mrs. Smeath peeling potatoes; Mrs. Smeath invites her to come to church... (full context)
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...in her bureau drawer and brings a nickel for collection instead. When she gets to Grace’s house, they notice that she doesn’t have a hat, so she has to borrow a... (full context)
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...she does not know what it is, which Mrs. Smeath chides her for. After dinner, Grace and Elaine sit on the velvet chesterfield in the living room and read their Sunday... (full context)
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On Halloween, Grace wears an ordinary lady’s dress, Carol a fairy outfit, Cordelia a clown suit, and Elaine... (full context)
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...of nightshade. She knows there must have been a cake and presents, and that Cordelia, Grace, and Carol must have been there, but she cannot remember anything outside a “vague horror... (full context)
Part Five: Wringer
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...past, Elaine sits on a window ledge in the zoology building watching the parade; Cordelia, Grace, and Carol sit on a different ledge because they are not speaking to Elaine. They... (full context)
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Elaine stands outside Cordelia’s room while Cordelia, Grace, and Carol have a meeting about her. They think that she does not measure up,... (full context)
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...slow down time to avoid having to go out and play. Whenever she does leave, Grace, Carol, and Cordelia are waiting for her. The girls constantly order her around, but only... (full context)
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Sometimes Cordelia decides to make Carol the target of improvement, and invites Elaine and Grace to walk ahead and discuss her faults. Elaine does not feel bad for her when... (full context)
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...Commandments, and the Lord’s Prayer. She receives perfect scores on quizzes in Sunday school. However, Grace reports back on her even when she is a “goody-goody,” and that makes Elaine feel... (full context)
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...she starts to feel like it’s less possible. She sees a glint of light off Grace’s glasses and knows that she is watching her. (full context)
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...“tame” and “wild,” with her mother, father, and brother being wild along with Cordelia, but Grace and Carol fitting into the category of tame.  Mr. Banerji and Elaine’s father talk about... (full context)
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...walking Brian. They ask for his name and when she says it is Brian Finestein, Grace and Carol make fun of him for being Jewish, which Elaine had never heard of.... (full context)
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...the image she had of the family—it “adds something extra and heroic.” Cordelia, Carol, and Grace catch her again, and Carol asks for a turn walking the baby. When she refuses,... (full context)
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...soup—she used to spell out words with the letters, but now takes no particular interest. Grace calls to ask her to come out and play; she joins reluctantly, because she knows... (full context)
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...spring comes. Elaine’s parents start pulling weeds in their garden, and Elaine skips rope in Grace’s driveway with Carol and Cordelia. They look like girls playing, but Elaine finds the songs... (full context)
Part Six: Cat’s Eye
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To keep herself sane, Elaine holds onto the cat’s eye. Cordelia, Grace, and Carol walk ahead and she pictures Cordelia and Grace and Carol disappearing, and thinks... (full context)
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...with the image of Mr. Campbell as a man with a soft mustache who calls Grace “Beautiful Brown Eyes” and Cordelia “Miss Lobelia.” (full context)
Part Seven: Our Lady of Perpetual Help
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...along to hymns when she goes to church, and she stops praying to God. When Grace notices, she tells Elaine to tell God that she’s sorry, and says that that is... (full context)
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...river because her hat accidentally fell over the bridge. She lies and says that Cordelia, Grace, and Carol had not been with her, and says that a lady helped her. Elaine... (full context)
Part Eight: Half a Face
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...be Princess Elizabeth—Elaine feels like her memories of the princess make her uneasy. Cordelia and Grace skip a grade to end up in Grade Eight, whereas Elaine and Carol are only... (full context)
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Elaine remembers having been friends with Cordelia, Carol, and Grace, but they all seem flattened to her, and “their names are like footnotes or the... (full context)
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Cordelia and Grace graduate, and Carol hangs around near boys and isn’t much liked by other girls. Elaine... (full context)
Part Nine: Leprosy
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...cars, though they also once hit a woman by mistake. They start making fun of Grace Smeath and her family, calling them the “Lump-lump Family.” Cordelia remembers all sorts of details... (full context)
Part Eleven: Falling Women
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A woman comes up and confronts Elaine in anger—she thinks at first that it is Grace Smeath, but it is just another religious woman offended by her art style. She throws... (full context)
Part Thirteen: Picoseconds
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...with the camera for her ninth birthday, and she looks at an old picture of Grace Smeath wreathed in flowers. When she looks into the red purse and finds the marble... (full context)