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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…show more content…
She eats breakfast each morning, lunch each afternoon, and supper each evening. She sleeps in her bedroom and wears a red dress. This is how some perceive her; this is how she was taught to be perceived. But, that is not who she is, and who she never wants to truly become. She partakes in the underground grapevine, passing on tidbits of information and gossip to other handmaids, the Marthas, anyone who is able to keep the secrets going, and yet stay safe. She has not yet succumed to the ways of the world. She still challenges each decision, and finds small ways to defy the irrational laws. This is how some perceive her; this is the perception very few can see, very few can know about. And then, there is her final identity; whoever she used to be. Whoever she still longs to be. The woman with a husband and a daughter, with a job, a house, rights, freedoms, and even a family cat. In her mind she still is this woman, she cannot forget this woman, and she is doing her best to remember her. Only she can perceive herself like this, and she can never let anyone else see it. It is the most hidden identity she has, and yet it is the most vital one to keep alive. This makes the reader question what it is that defines us as the person we think we are. If everything we have, everything we love and and cherish, anyone who means something to us, was taken away, would we still be the same person? Would the memory of our past selves be all that we need to define our current
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