Reading over my notes, most of these quotations come from the diary of Aunt Lydia, a former judge now enforcer for the paternalistic theocracy of// Gilead, the former USA.
_The Testaments_ by Margaret Atwood
NY: Doubleday, 2019
(57) Normal is like looking out a car window. Things pass by, this and that and this and that, without much significance. You don’t register such hours; they’re habitual, like brushing your teeth.
(116) You pride yourself on being a realist, I told myself, so face the facts. There’s been a coup, here in the United States, just as in times past in so many other countries. Any forced change of leadership is always followed by a move to crush the opposition. The opposition is led by the educated, so the educated are the first to be eliminated. You’re a judge, so you are educated, like it or not. They won’t want you around.
(123) You hold it in, whatever it is, until you can make it through the worst part. Then, once you’re safe, you can cry all the tears you couldn’t waste time crying before.
(142) Giving up was the new normal, and I have to say it was catching.
(143) Aunt Lydia explains captivity: They were reducing us to animals - to penned-up animals - to our animal nature. They were rubbing our noses in that nature. We were to consider ourselves subhuman.
… How tedious is a tyranny in the throes of enactment. It’s always the same plot.
(145) Sorry solves nothing, I told myself. Over the years - the many years - how true I have found that to be.
(148) The powerless are so tempting.
(277) Reign of terror, they used to say, but terror does not exactly reign. Instead it paralyzes. Hence the unnatural quiet.
(279) Innocent men denying their guilt sound exactly like guilty men, as I am sure you have noticed, my reader. Listeners are inclined to believe neither.
(307) The truth can cause a lot of trouble for those who are not supposed to know it.
(363) Aunt indoctrination: She who cannot control herself cannot control the path to duty. Do not fight the waves of anger, use the anger as your fuel. Inhale. Exhale. Sidestep. Circumvent. Deflect.
(387) The ability to concoct plausible lies is a talent not to be underestimated.