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Had a question from our reading group …………. can find no answer ………… Handmaid’s Tale By Margaret Atwood …. Can anyone help with what the author may mean by the post modern device of having the text discuss itself in the last chapter of prof Pieixoto’s talk “Problems of Authentication in Reference to The Handmaid’s Tale”. Are we meant to ask questions about the text itself? How is it authentic? A real diary, or a representative compilation of the real experiences, a grittier parallel to Harriet Beecher Stowe Unle Tom Cabin ? ……………..
Ok, I hope I am not oversimplifying your question. One of the themes of many of Atwood’s works is the difficulty of constructing an authentic identity, aside from the characteristics imprinted in you by others, and those you adopt based on others’ perceptions. If you strip away the layers of you to uncover the “authentic” you, where do you stop? What are you left with? Is one’s identity therefore fictitious? If so, is realty also malleable and based on perception? Is there such a thing as the “truth” of a story?