Incredible Journeys Through Life

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorHigh School, 12th grade September 2001

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Life is like a kaleidoscope with fragments of the past shaping our possible futures. The novels Alias Grace, Asylum, and Heart of Darkness show how people can twist the past into incredible perceptions, ensnaring them. In all three novels the journey through life contains relationships involving deception "the notion of being captured by the incredible"(Conrad, 95 ), and lives that are haunted by dreams. All three main characters are fascinating to those who would try to find the truth about these characters and their dreams.

In the novel, Alias Grace, the main character Grace Marks has several relationships. Her first relationship involves Grace's psychiatrist, Dr. Jordan. Throughout time there has always been a distinct relationship between a psychiatrist and his patient. This relationship is taken to a new level when Dr. Jordan takes an expressed interest in Grace's case. During the analysis process he is faced with his own personal problems and creates a delusional obsession with Grace.

Dr. Jordan believes Grace is able to fulfill his mother's and his own personal needs. This is, "[m]adness of course; a perverse fantasy, to marry a suspected murderess"(Atwood, 467). This is a perverse thought since he is eroticizing her, the patient's body and her title as murderess. The title of murderess opens a window into his mind creating "an allure, a scent almost"(Atwood, 467). Before the murders he would think of Grace as "[a] young girl, scarcely formed; tepid, bland, and tasteless. A flat landscape"(Atwood, 467).

Grace's second relationship is with Jeremiah, alias Dr. Jerome DuPont. Grace falls easily into Jeremiah's warm nature since "[i]n a new country, friends become old friends quickly"(Atwood, 314). In turn Jeremiah befriends and offers to help Grace. Jeremiah hints to Grace that her "[f]uture lies hid in the present"(Atwood, 315), and warns her that...