Saturday: A Response

Dear Emily,

I never considered that we already know Jessica’s answer, since she wouldn’t need to give Marcus her journals if her answer was yes, but you’re absolutely right.  Your observation reminds me of a story  — just as Jessica’s does for Marcus.  I don’t know if you’ve ever read The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood but it’s a dystopian novel that ends (spoiler alert) with the reveal that the story of the novel was collected and preserved as a relic from a past society.  Atwood said that she included this ending to give her readers hope — if that story was a relic from the past, then the present was quite different.  She was inspired, she claimed in an interview I read, by the newspeak glossary in the back of 1984.  Similarly, she noted, one would only need a glossary to explain newspeak if it was no longer the dominate language.  Marcus gives the journals back to Jessica because he thinks they rightfully belong to her, but maybe also because he doesn’t need them.  If he thought they were the last words he would hear from someone he loved, do you think he would return them?  Looking back, I’m positive he wouldn’t.  He’s letting go, but I don’t think he’s giving up.  And even though I don’t think she had definite plans for a fifth novel at the end she wrote this, I don’t McCafferty wanted us to, either.




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