Alias Grace may be considered an imitation of older books in the Bronte mode; Cat's Eye is a heroine's text (in Nancy Miller's formulation). . She also plays games of disorientation (p. With the help of her three new friends, Grace, Carol and Cordelia, Elaine learns the rules: the girls line is different than the boys; she is not able to follow her brother, Stephen, as she used. I can do what I like. My father said I was neither a follower nor a natural leader and had to become one or the other to join. . Once Elaine can understand this, she can finally become her true self. She also has a heroine who admires boys and wants to be one in part (which is part of what may make this book called anti-women).
If aspects of the novel and heroine are autobiographical, the book and central presence as a whole is not - though Atwood does love to draw and her Susannah Moodie poems appear in an art book of great beauty she did with a fellow artist. It's a strong presence: she does not herself have to imitate them but sees the absurdities of high school life. . Elaine constantly fears Cordelia to the point where she wishes to become invisible. Jane Eyre story which she shows Moodie got wrong. She admits that she is still fearful. But it makes me want to read more of her early novels.