The Handmaid’s Tale

“In front of us, to the right, is the store where we order dresses. Some people call them habits, a good word for them. Habits are hard to break. The store has a huge wooden sign outside it, in the shape of a golden lily; Lilies of the Field, it’s called. You can see the place under the lily, where the lettering was painted out, when they decided that even the names of shops were too much temptation for us. Now places are known by their signs alone.
Lilies used to be a movie theatre, before. Students went there a lot; every spring they had a Humphrey Boghart festival, with Lauren Bacall or Katherine Hepburn, women on their own, making up their minds. They wore blouses with buttons down the front that suggested the possibilities of the word undone. These women could be undone; or not. They seemed to be able to choose. We seemed to be able to choose, then. We were a society dying, said Aunt Lydia, of too much choice.”

– Margaret Atwood,
The Handmaid’s Tale

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