I have been thinking a lot about Grace’s actions. I have specifically thought about her final act. From what I gathered in class, many believe that Grace was avenging her parents when she took the life of their killer. Thinking the situation over, I have come to different conclusion.
I don’t think Grace was taking revenge for anyone. I believe her actions were a way to let go of the pain involved with her parents. Grace always seemed to want to get away from her mother and father and always took actions to distance herself as much as she could.
She spent her childhood alone, always isolating herself from the rest of the family. She would read her novels to allow her to escape.
She created the character of Marianna so that she would have an excuse to leave her parent’s house and smoke.
Grace never let Suzy have a crack at interpreting. If Suzy had become an interpreter for her parents, I theorize that Grace would have had to have dealt with her living nightmare even longer because her father and mother would have had a back up. Thus, I think this is why she kept Suzy from interpreting.
In college, she rarely came home. Only during the summer time would she actually return. Suzy speculates that the return was hard for her.
Grace becomes an English language teacher, something that her father had been so forcefully against through out her life.
When her parents die, she tells Suzy to leave “them” alone and they do not speak for several years. Though she does leave flowers at Suzy’s door each year, she does so anonymously.
Though her mom and dad had barely mentioned anything about Montauk through out her life, she did burry them there. The only hint as to why she does this comes from Mr. Kim. He told her that he buried his own wife there. Since her parents had wronged the Kims, it could be implied that she buried them there in order for them to face what they had done. Thus, she was making them deal with their guilt so she could get over hers.
I think she was trying to kill her mom and dad's murderer so she could finally be done with the situation. Why would she want to seek revenge? She always distanced herself from her the people she was avenging. But if the murder remained unsolved, she would have had to face her emotions involving the situation for quite some time; because the investigation and the thoughts about it would have continued. Thus, it seems likely that she spent her own time trying to solve the solution, so she could finally break free from her parents’ spell.
Now, granted, there are still some questions that need to be answered. For instance, why would she hang on to her parent’s house? It is a puzzler. However, she does distance herself from her parent’s views by giving the house to someone who was half-Korean, something that the reader knows her father would have expressly forbidden because of his rant about the mix breed puppy he almost runs over.