I’m re-reading Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale, this time with a close eye on her use of language.
Today I’m obsessing over this:
“We yearned for the future. How did we learn it, that talent for insatiability?” (3-4)
I get the insatiability. In fact, the statement reminds me of John Twelve Hawks’ The Traveler, in which this world’s chief problem is never-ending desire. My attention is snagged by the word talent. Why does Atwood call this longing a talent? Again, I get the innate quality. I just don’t understand it being referred to as an ability, as though one were performing or creating something.