The Grace Year Themes & Motifs

Kim Liggett
This Study Guide consists of approximately 65 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of The Grace Year.
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Religion and Sin

Religion is a major presence within the novel, as Liggett explores how religion and sin are used to both shame and scare women into obedience. From the very beginning of the novel, Liggett shows how prevalent the fear of shame is. Before the veiling ceremony takes place, Tierney’s mother tells her, “You cannot bring shame on this family” (9). Shame not only affects the individual, but the actions of one woman can reflect on multiple or even all women, and thus is used as a fear tactic. The religion that Tierney is raised under is inherently sexist, as she notes, “They call us the weaker sex. It’s pounded into us every Sunday in church” (15). Thus, not only are women’s actions defined by notions sin and shame, but women are also conditioned to believe they are naturally inferior to men. Tierney feels that...

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This section contains 2,373 words
(approx. 6 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Grace Year Study Guide
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