Ah I really enjoyed this. Its been 3 weeks and its still on my mind. In my books, that’s the mark of a good story (or tv show).
I almost didn’t believe it when I saw it on Netflix, because Alias Grace is my favourite of Atwood’s novels.
Couldn’t help comparing it to Handmaid’s Tale. The themes are similar but this seems to have a much more pared down setting. I think with Handmaid, the most striking thing of all is the cinematography.
The contrast to our world today. The very vivid colours.
Alias Grace had muted colours instead. And in a way that really suited the story. Suffocating but in an understated way.
In a way, its easy to dismiss her story as being just a story, far removed from today’s reality. But then you are reminded that it’s based on a real woman. And the things that she and the other women went through, were normal occurrences at that time.
That when a woman has sex with anyone other than her husband, its her fault. And the man is completely off the hook. And if she decides to abort the baby (despite attempts to ask the father of her child to act responsibly), she is the murderess and must face all consequences alone.
And, her harshest critics are women.
I often think, the reason men believe they are better than women, is because they are raised by their father, but more importantly, their mother to believe this.
She does this by doing all the “womens work” for him, laundry, cooking, cleaning. So that he never learns to do these things and later on expects his wife to do them for him. And when she asks for him to pitch in, he feels like either she is not a good wife, or if he does help out, that he is a saint.
This is one of the reasons that I am so grateful to my mil. She has 4 sons and because in the early years she was so busy, everybody had to pitch in.
I’m not saying that my husband is perfect, but certainly, he does not feel like helping out is beneath him. And to be fair, I do the bulk of the house stuff – the kids, cooking, laundry etc. He works very long hours while I’m at home after picking up the kids from school.