Books and Movies Reviews

The Truth to a Ballad

"At her Redeemer's throne she'll stand, And she'll be cured of woe, And He her bloodied hands will wash, And she'll be white as snow"(15).This quote concludes the beautifully written ballad located in thefirst chapter of Margaret Atwood's Alias Grace.By summarizing the events leading up to the murders, the murders themselves, and the ensuing trial, the poem presents the reader with what appears to be a foreshadowing of things to come.However, though the ballad reflects many of the novel's events, there are several differences which contradict Grace's narration.
The poetic verse and the story told by Grace contain numerous similarities.As the ballad states at the beginning, Grace says she was sixteen years old when the murders at the house of Thomas Kinnear occurred; James McDermott worked as a stable hand, and Grace was the serving maid.Also alike is the poem's description of Nancy as a "no well-born lady….who goes in satin and silk, The finest ever seen"(11).Whenfirst meeting Nancy, Grace wonders why "a housekeeper would be wanting a dress like that," (200) immediately noticing Nancy is dressed rather well considering her occupation. When the murders take place in the novel, James strikes Nancy on the head with an axe and throws her into the cellar where she eventually died with an unborn baby in her womb.This event was depicted in the poem, as was the scene where James and Grace steal valuables from Mr. Kinnear's house and fled across the lake to the Lewiston Hotel in the United States.As the ballad progresses, the !
two are later arrested at which point Grace states she does not remember seeing the murders take place.Also similar, is James' declaration of Grace being the one who lead him on, and if not for her the murders would have never happened.When the poem explains how Jamie Walsh marked Grace


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