After the scene of Offred’s “escape” (for better or for worse), I was feeling a little better about her story. In the sense that I thought to myself, “At least she got out.” Despite having not really cared much for Nick before the end of the book, it was a surprise to me that he called in people to help her at the end (or at least that seems to be the consensus of what happened).
That aside, the part that I have the most strong feelings about is actual the historical notes section. I just couldn’t stand the fact that she went out of her way, maybe even risking her life to do so, to record her story and then these guys find it and instead of treating her story like something worth hearing, they complain about how she didn’t give more details about the men involved in her story. They give a lecture not on the actual “document” (because they hesitate to even call it that) but on the speculation of who the Commander might have been and the impactful things the two men they narrowed it down to did for Gileadean society. What bothers me most about it is that previously in the story Offred talks about how “family portraits” were taken, but they never included the handmaids, which meant that in the future when someone looks back on their history, the handmaids will have been erased from it, forgotten. She tries so hard to make sure that doesn’t happen by telling her own story. She tells us it’s a story she doesn’t want to tell, but she does it anyway, because she knows how important it is. All of that, and these two dudes find her story just to talk over it and erase it anyway. Man, it was so disheatening.