The dramatic conflict of Alias Grace takes place chiefly within the mind of it's leading character, Grace Marks, who lives the life of a poor, Irish immigrant servant whose self-proclaimed amnesia sets the basis for the story. First of all, Grace is the all-work-maid and completes everything that is necessary to complete her job and please her employers. To Grace, life was about being a servant, for this is all she has ever known. Serving others and making them content was her primary goal. While in prison, Grace was able to reflect on her life. Although committed for the brutal murder of her two employers, her attitude while alternating between both prisons and asylums was kept rather composed.
. Near the end of the novel, Grace chooses several items to incorporate into a special quilt she decides to make. What were these items and what was the significance of each? Since this is a simple recall question, the student needs to reference back to the story.
Grace bluntly declares each item, as well as describing the significance of each one.
2. Explain Grace's attitude towards her family, including her father, mother, and siblings. What made her feel the way she did towards certain members of her family? Considering this is a comprehension question, the student needs to be able to grasp the subject on how Grace felt towards her family. Throughout the novel, Grace acknowledged her feelings toward her drunken father and her sorrow for leaving her brothers and sisters with him. Her attitude toward her mother was depicted when she was recalling her death aboard the immigrant ship.
3. Why is Grace's discussion of quilts throughout the novel significant? Throughout the novel, Grace mentions all types of quilts and even specific designs of the blankets. The author goes as far as naming several chapters after these designs. Basically, the quilts are a sort of emotional release for Grace. Every time she was experiencing something tremendous, she turned to her sewing to escape from reality for a short time.
4. Do you believe that Grace's situation and ultimate result would have differed any if it had taken place in the present? If so, how? If not, why? The student must reflect on the time period and treatment of servants over a hundred years ago and compare this treatment with that of the present day individuals of the same descriptions.
5. What ideas can you add to about the importance and use of dreams in the novel? Many of Grace's dreams reflected her opinion of the surrounding situations. The student should examine several of her dreams throughout the novel and confer about the symbolism and the meaning behind it. From this, the student may surmise as to why they were essential, especially during a particular time.
6. Why do you believe the story as titled Alias Grace? The student must evaluate the entire novel to complete this question. Along with adding his own opinion to the response, he must gather details from the story itself to substantiate his deduction.