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Margaret Atwood’s “Alias Grace” Quotes (17 Quotes)


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  • Because you may think a bed is a peaceful thing, Sir, and to you it may mean rest and comfort and a good night's sleep. But it isn't so for everyone; and there are many dangerous things that may take place in a bed.
    (Margaret Atwood, "Alias Grace")

  • But in the closeness of the sewing room, Simon can smell her as well as look at her. He tries to pay no attention but her scent is a distracting undercurrent. She smells like smoke; smoke, and laundry soap, and the salt from her skin; and she smells of the skin itself, with its undertone of dampness, fullness, ripeness - what? Ferns and mushrooms; fruits crushed and fermenting.
    (Margaret Atwood, "Alias Grace")

  • For if the world treats you well, Sir, you come to believe you are deserving of it.
    (Margaret Atwood, "Alias Grace")

  • He is talking to people in Toronto, trying to find out if I am guilty; but he won't find it out that way. He doesn't understand yet that guilt comes to you not from the things you've done, but from the things that other have done for you.
    (Margaret Atwood, "Alias Grace")

  • I am afraid of falling into hopeless despair, over my wasted life, and I am still not sure how it happened.
    (Margaret Atwood, "Alias Grace")


  • I am certain that a Sewing Machine would relieve as much human suffering as a hundred Lunatic Asylums, and possibly a good deal more.
    (Margaret Atwood, "Alias Grace")

  • If we were all on trial for our thoughts, we would all be hanged.
    (Margaret Atwood, "Alias Grace")

  • Murderess, murderess, he whispers to himself. It has an allure, a scent almost. Hothouse gardenias. Lurid, but also furtive. He imagines himself breathing it as he draws Grace towards him, pressing his mouth against her. Murderess. He applies it to her throat like a brand.
    (Margaret Atwood, "Alias Grace")

  • People dressed in a certain kind of clothing are never wrong. Also they never fart.
    (Margaret Atwood, "Alias Grace")

  • Sleeping in your clothes makes you tired. The clothes are crumpled, and also your body underneath them. I feel as if I've been rolled into a bundle and thrown on the floor.
    (Margaret Atwood, "Alias Grace")

  • Soon it will be daybreak. Soon the day will break. I can't stop it from breaking in the same way it always does, and then from lying there broken; always the same day, which comes around again like clockwork. It begins with the day before the day before, and then the day before, and then it's the day itself. A Saturday. The breaking day. The day the butcher comes.
    (Margaret Atwood, "Alias Grace")

  • The newspaper journalists like to believe the worst; they can sell more papers that way, as one of them told me himself; for even upstanding and respectable people dearly love to read ill of others.
    (Margaret Atwood, "Alias Grace")

  • To be rendered unconscious; to lie exposed, without shame, at the mercy of others; to be touched, incised, plundered, remade - this is what they are thinking of when they look at him, with their widening eyes and slightly parted lips.
    (Margaret Atwood, "Alias Grace")

  • When you are in the middle of a story it isn't a story at all, but only a confusion; a dark roaring, a blindness, a wreckage of shattered glass and splintered wood; like a house in a whirlwind, or else a boat crushed by the icebergs or swept over the rapids, and all aboard powerless to stop it. It's only afterwards that it becomes anything like a story at all. When you are telling it, to yourself or to someone else.
    (Margaret Atwood, "Alias Grace")

  • A great fear came over me, and my body went entirely cold, and I stood as if paralyzed with fear; for I knew that the horse was no earthly horse, but the pale horse that will be sent at the Day of Reckoning, and the rider of it is Death; and it was Death himself who stood behind me, with his arms wrapped around me as tight as iron bands, and his lipless mouth kissing my neck as if in love. But as well as the horror, I also felt a strange longing.
    (Margaret Atwood, "Alias Grace")


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