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Word Count: 359
Alias Grace is based on the true life of Grace Marks a young 19th century servant girl accused of scheming with a fellow servant James McDermott to murder her employer Mr Kinnear and his mistress who is also the head housekeeper McDermott is hanged for his crime but as only an accomplice Grace is handed a lifetime sentence in the Penitentiary After unnecessarily spending some time in a Lunatic Asylum Grace is transferred to the Penitentiary where she is a model prisoner and so given privileges to leave the prison and work as a servant in the Governors house It is at the Governors house that she is introduced to Dr Simon Jordan a psychologist very interested in Graces story and the opportunity of study that she represents Dr Jordan is hired by a committee made up of the Governors wife the Reverend Verringer and several other influential citizens who are working towards securing a pardon for Grace Through object association activities and dream interpretations Dr Jordan attempts to reconstruct Graces memory of the murders and establish what really happened He is increasingly discouraged as time goes on however and eventually flees for Europe as his own life spirals out of his control Grace does finally receive her pardon 29 years after she was first convicted of murder All ends happily when she moves to the United States and is reunited with Jamie Walsh her childhood sweetheart from Mr Kinnears farm When we leave Grace she is happily married and carrying a child at the age of 46 Atwood tells this complex story by rotating between first-person and third-person narrative and peppers the tale with trial records press articles and poems from the time The Victorian culture of that period comes alive through Atwoods retelling and makes it impossible to believe that she herself did not experience it This novel as all of Atwoods novels is written in a highly intelligent style yet Atwood
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