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Alias Grace Alias Grace by Margaret Atwood
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Alias Grace Quotes Showing 1-30 of 193
“If we were all on trial for our thoughts, we would all be hanged.”
Margaret Atwood, Alias Grace
Gone mad is what they say, and sometimes Run mad, as if mad is a different direction, like west; as if mad is a different house you could step into, or a separate country entirely. But when you go mad you don't go any other place, you stay where you are. And somebody else comes in.”
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
“Murderess is a strong word to have attached to you. It has a smell to it, that word - musky and oppressive, like dead flowers in a vase. Sometimes at night I whisper it over to myself: Murderess, Murderess. It rustles, like a taffeta skirt across the floor.”
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
“If I am good enough and quiet enough, perhaps after all they will let me go; but it’s not easy being quiet and good, it’s like hanging on to the edge of a bridge when you’ve already fallen over; you don’t seem to be moving, just dangling there, and yet it is taking all your strength.”
Margaret Atwood, Alias Grace
“There is no fool like an educated fool...”
Margaret Atwood, Alias Grace
“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
“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
“In his student days, he used to argue that if a woman has no other course open to her but starvation, prostitution, or throwing herself from a bridge, then surely the prostitute, who has shown the most tenacious instinct for self-preservation, should be considered stronger and saner than her frailer and no longer living sisters. One couldn't have it both ways, he'd pointed out: if women are seduced and abandoned they're supposed to go mad, but if they survive, and seduce in their turn, then they were mad to begin with.”
Margaret Atwood, Alias Grace
“While he writes, I feel as if he is drawing me; or not drawing me, drawing on me--drawing on my skin--not with the pencil he is using, but with an old-fashioned goose pen, and not with the quill end but with the feather end. As if hundreds of butterflies have settled all over my face, and are softly opening and closing their wings.

But underneath that is another feeling, a feeling of being wide-eyed awake and watchful. It's like being wakened suddenly in the middle of the night, by a hand over your face, and you sit up with your heart going fast, and no one is there. And underneath that is another feeling still, a feeling like being torn open; not like a body of flesh, it is not painful as such, but like a peach; and not even torn open, but ripe and splitting open of its own accord.

And inside the peach there's a stone.”
Margaret Atwood, Alias Grace
“They are hypocrites, they think the Church is a cage to keep God in, so he will stay locked up there and not go wandering about the earth during the week, poking his nose into their business, and looking in the depths and darkness and doubleness of their hearts, and their lack of true charity; and they believed they need only be bothered about him on Sundays when they have their best clothes on and their faces straight, and their hands washed and their gloves on, and their stories all prepared.”
Margaret Atwood, Alias Grace
“A prison does not only lock its inmates inside, it keeps all others out. Her strongest prison is of her own construction.”
Margaret Atwood, Alias Grace
“The small details of life often hide a great significance.”
Margaret Atwood, Alias Grace
tags: life
“While he writes, I feel as if he is drawing me; or not drawing me, drawing on me - drawing on my skin - not with the pencil he is using, but with an old-fashioned goose pen, and not with the quill end but with the feather end. As if hundreds of butterflies have settled all over my face, and are softly opening and closing their wings.”
Margaret Atwood, Alias Grace
“He doesn't understand yet that guilt comes to you not from the things you've done, but from the things that others have done to you.”
Margaret Atwood, Alias Grace
tags: guilt
“When I was younger I used to think that if I could hug myself tight enough I could make myself smaller, because there was never enough room for me, at home or anywhere, but if I was smaller then I would fit in.”
Margaret Atwood, Alias Grace
“People dressed in a certain kind of clothing are never wrong. Also they never fart.”
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
“...the difference between stupid and ignorant was that ignorant could learn.”
Margaret Atwood, Alias Grace
“To go from a familiar thing, however undesirable, into the unknown, is always a matter for apprehension, and I suppose that is why so many people are afraid to die.”
Margaret Atwood, Alias Grace
“And then everything went on very quietly for a fortnight, says Dr. Jordan. He is reading aloud from my confession.
Yes Sir, it did, I say. More or less quietly.
What is everything? How did it go on?
I beg your pardon, Sir?
What did you do everyday?
Oh, the usual, Sir, I say. I performed my duties.
You will forgive me, says Dr. Jordan. Of what did those duties consist?
I look at him. He is wearing a yellow cravat with small white squares, he is not making a joke. He really does not know. Men such as him do not have to clean up the messes they make, but we have to clean up our own messes, and theirs into the bargain. In that way they are like children, they do not have to think ahead, or worry about the consequences of what they do. But it's not their fault, it is only how they are brought up.”
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
“Mary: Some call this "Eve's curse," but I think that is stupid because the real curse of Eve was having to put up with the nonsense of Adam.”
Margaret Atwood, Alias Grace
“It is always a mistake to curse back openly at those who are stronger than you unless there is a fence between.”
Margaret Atwood, Alias Grace
“Sometimes when I am dusting the mirror with the grapes I look at myself in it, although I know it is vanity. In the afternoon light of the parlour my skin is a pale mauve, like a faded bruise, and my teeth are greenish. I think of all the things that have been written about me - that I am inhuman female demon, that I am an innocent victim of a blackguard forced against my will and in danger of my own life, that I was too ignorant to know how to act and that to hang me would be judicial murder, that I am fond of animals, that I am very handsome with a brilliant complexion, that I have blue eyes, that I have green eyes, that I have auburn and also have brown hair, that I am tall and also not above the average height, that I am well and decently dressed, that I robbed a dead woman to appear so, that I am brisk and smart about my work, that I am of a sullen disposition with a quarrelsome temper, that I have the appearance of a person rather above my humble station, that I am a good girl with a pliable nature and no harm is told of me, that I am cunning and devious, that I am soft in the head and little better than an idiot. And I wonder, how can I be all of these different things at once?”
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
“I would never blame a human creature for feeling lonely.”
Margaret Atwood, Alias Grace
“I don't know why they are all so eager to be remembered. What good will it do them? There are some things that should be forgotten by everyone, and never spoken of again.”
Margaret Atwood, Alias Grace
“He doesn’t understand yet that guilt comes to you not from the things you’ve done, but from the things that others have done to you.”
Margaret Atwood, Alias Grace

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