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Lucy

In: Business and Management

Submitted By ngalea
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Journal for “The Handmaid’s Tale” by Margaret Atwood

Within the first few pages, possibly even within the first few sentences, you can sense the theme of this novel. A dystopian future, possibly post-apocalyptic, and full of fear. Oppression, tyranny, freedom (or lack thereof); all of these things become so plainly present that it's almost painful. The intensity of the situation multiplies when it is revealed, slowly, that this isn't thousands of years into the future. In this time, democratic and liberal past wasn't just a myth or whisper, it's actually a memory, and a not-so-distant one at that. Whatever happened to cause this new medieval dictatorship is recent and, luckily, still being challenged. Minute, silent victories are being won by the Handmaids and by others. Finding a single word to read over and over, despite the harsh punishment if you're caught with script. Using butter to soften your hands, even though vanity is sacrilege. Although these people are essentially slaves, or as our narrator puts it, "two-legged wombs", they themselves remember a time before this, and still have hope. This book is written in an interesting format, and one reads it in an interesting way. The reader, in this story, is not an observer, but the character herself. We don’t get any extra information or clues; we hear the thoughts that Offred is thinking, we see what she sees and, most importantly, we remember what she remembers. She says “Every night when I go to bed I think, In the morning I will wake up in my own house and things will be back the way they were. It hasn’t happened this morning either” (Atwood 229). Hope is one of the most vital weapons that Offred has now. She keeps her hope strong and reinforces it, although I get the feeling that cannot last. Giving up and giving in would be a blessing, a relief, and yet she still presses on. Still hopes. Our narrator,...

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