Letter to an author

Dear Margaret Atwood,

The past is an insight to the future, and by publishing your book, The Handmaid’s Tale,  in 1985, you’ve proven this right. Ideas of inequality and abuse and racism have always been present in this society but renewed interest in the ideas  of your novel and the subsequent television adaptation hit almost too close to home. My family comes from a place where women are treated poorly, and everyone different is treated as such. This being one of the reasons why my mother left to come to a more equal and sovereign place such as the United States. But with the emergence of the political war in 2016, she and I quickly came to realize that what plagued the home country was also present here. Women were to be  grabbed by their body parts and were pigs. If women asked for equal rights, they were compared to the Nazi fighters of Germany. What’s the difference between what was happening on the forefront of American politics and the treatment of women as objects in your novel? Not much.

Every person has their own idea of the future. Some see a future of hoverboards and spaceships. Some see a future of anarchy and complete rebellion. And some see a future of alien overlords. One of the things that your view doesn’t have in common with these is that yours is startling familiar. Your book, A Handmaid’s Tale portrays a future that can realistically soon appear. The future is rapidly approaching, and your book is a wake up call for what our nation can become.

 

Churches are being bombed, unarmed black men were being shot, and women were being chastised for speaking of their sexual assault experiences. Many women felt almost hopeless. If society could go this much backwards, then how could it rememerge and become improved, much less back to how it was before. The women in The Handmaid’s Tale showed that no matter how bad it is outside, and no matter how restricted one is, one can always fight for their beliefs and improve the situation for themselves and their peers. Even though your novel when it comes down to it, is fiction, the message extends through fiction, nonfiction, and the present. It was inspirational. If those women could fight, so can I. This is one of the reasons why I began to get involved in my community. I never knew before how many ways there are for people of all ages, stages in life, and abilities to work together for their beliefs. I was able to get involved with the Amnesty International, and learn about the injustices present in the country and the world, and their possible remedies. I was able to become involved with the Democratic Discourse club which promotes reaching out to the local community and working together to solve its issues. Most importantly, through all of my experiences, I’ve learned that the only guaranteed way to witness the improvement of a situation is to get involved and fight for yourself and everyone affected. Two of my favorite quotes are “The best way to predict your future is create it” and “The past cannot be changed. The future is yet in your power”. The women in your novel couldn’t change the past, and yet they were able to work hard enough to create a better future. I know you didn’t know that this would happen in the present day, but what you wrote about is still helpful. So, this is a thank you for your novel and also the inspiration that the novel passes on to its readers.

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