MISUSE OF POWER In the novel Alias Grace, Margaret Atwood uses language and technique to communicate a critical truth
about how the people who are on top of the power hierarchy, tend to abuse and take advantage of their power to
solely benefit themselves; as men take advantage over women and the dominant take advantage over the lower
class. These issues are clearly visible throughout the story and are also very conspicuous in reality.
Margaret Atwood depicts as to how in society there are power issues between males and females as males tend to have more power than their counterparts and tend to frequently abuse and take advantage of their powers to solely benefit themselves. In this scene, Grace is in the governor’s wife’s parlor. She has been taken in as a maid due to her skill and efficiency with household chores. As she is waiting for a doctor, she begins to wonder why women were not supposed to sit on a chair that had just been vacated by a man. She then remembers how Mary Whitney said, that when a man leaves his seat, it is inappropriate for a woman to go and sit in the same seat since it’d still be warm from the man’s bottom. She then compares how women are like swans and jellyfish; as if they were to be left out in the sun, they’d dry out. Thus leading her to notion how women are mostly like water. “Ms. Alderman Parkinson said a lady must never sit in a chair a gentleman has just vacated, though she would not say why; but Mary Whitney said, Because, you silly goose, it’s still warm from his bum; which was a course thing to say. (…) They are like swans, drifting along on unseen feet; or else like the jellyfish in the waters of the rocky harbour near our house, when I was little, before I ever made the long sad journey across the ocean. They were bell-shaped and ruffled, gracefully waving and lovely under the sea; but if they washed up on the beach and dried out in the sun there was nothing