Thoughts from the front lines


Far from reality?

In her book The Maddaddams, Margaret Atwood describes the lives of the survivors of the waterless flood. This group of survivors is mostly made up of Gardeners and of Maddaddamites and a few lost painballers. They have no families left, they have to scavenge for food, they are under imminent threat all the times, and they have no beds. Basically none of their basic needs are met. When reading stuff like that, it’s hard to put ourselves in that situation. How do you think you would react to this new life? When I read what Atwood wrote, it’s hard for me to put myself in their shoes and imagine how I would react to having nothing to look forward to. What’s the point of trying if there’s no reward? That’s when I realised, there are people that are currently living like Atwood’s group of survivor. People living in war zones lives in very similar situation than the one Toby is in.


These images of Syria reminds me of what Toby describes in the book, the wrecked cars, the destroyed buildings, everything is quite similar. This is in no way a coincidence. Like everything else in the book, we are lead to believe that what happens in the book would never happen in real life, we wouldn’t let it. However, it is in fact happening every day. The people living in those conflict zones are in an even worse place than Toby as she currently is. In fact, there is about “five million people in Yemen, Somalia and northeast Nigeria, as well as areas of South Sudan where famine has already been declared” (Yemen and Somalia…). There is five million people that are being denied basic needs as I’m writing this at home, on my expensive computer, eating my expensive food, and after that going to sleep in my expensive bed. Atwood definitely put those similarity in her book to make us realize that they are people right now that are suffering and we are not even aware, nor even acknowledging it.


Atwood, Margaret. MaddAddam Trilogy. New York: Random House, 2013. Print

“Yemen and Somalia ‘months away’ from famine.” News | Al Jazeera, 22 Mar. 2017. Web

Further reading:

Fleming, Melissa, “The situation in Syria is only going to get worse … and here’s why.” The Guardian. Guardian News and Media, 16 Feb. 2015. Web.


1 Comment


In year of the flood many themes and ideas are expressed. It makes the reader more engaged with the story and makes the story more interesting. In The Year of the Flood the main character Ren and Toby are fighting for their lives trying to survive this epidemic that Crake caused. So throughout the novel we see a lot of survival tactics which I found interesting. We could relate such tactics to the Native Americans and their traditions.

In the year of the flood we see that mainly Toby uses many tactics and strategies to keep her and the other characters alive and well. One example is when she uses a home aid remedy to help out Ren. She ends up using maggots which is an old way of curing people in the book. Native Americans also used such remedies. Native Americans used leaves and sometimes even food to cure their sick. So we see a relation on how Toby and native Americans use old tactics for survival. Also Native Americans would usually be in tribes. A relation of this is what we see is in the book. We see this from the gardeners, there like a tribe because they support each other and stick with one another. We see how this is also another important technique for survival and dates back to the Native Americains.Margaret Atwood made Toby a lot like an native American in the book Year of the flood. Maybe this was a way of showing the reader that age old traditions are not only important to remember because of history and culture. But also because it could help us when it seems like there is no hope left for survival.

Native American medicine

This theme and idea is very thought provoking. Do you think that age old traditions are important to hold onto for survival benefit? Also do you think that people will someday completely move onto old traditions?



For further reading:

Park, Alex. Do You Know These 25 Native American Survival Skills? Survival Life, 2017, Accessed 4 April 2017.

Native Americans., 2017, Accessed 4 April 2017.

Native American Legends. Legends of America, 2003, Accessed 4 April 2017.

Atwood, Margaret. The Year of the Flood. Vintage Canada,2010.