In the essay, "True North," Margaret Atwood articulates explicitly that the real north is a dangerous and overwhelming environment for anyone to approach or interact with. Atwood also argues vigorously that the consequence of entering the north is deleterious. In the essay, Atwood begins by suggest that the definition of "north" varies among different people from different places. However, Atwood explains that her north, the "True North," is the location of her hometown, a place of wilderness where nature is the main theme. Nature, as Atwood describes, is an inhabitable environment that carries extreme hostility toward human, and human's power is futile in front of the nature. Yet, the table has turned when humans acquired new technology. Ironically, as humans become the bully, they are trying to save the nature that is trying to kill the humans. Ironically, these people have never seen and experience the relentlessness of the north.
Despite the competing general claims in Atwood's essay, she provides well-established and influential supports that identify the mercilessness of the nature that prey on human beings. Also, Atwood's convincing argument on the north builds an interesting contradictory position between the north and humans.
According to Atwood, the location up north is an extremely startling place where no one wants to get near to and Atwood initiates her argument by showing several definitions for the location of north. As suggests in the short story, North could either be a place, a direction, or a feeling; nevertheless, despite all the other descriptions, to Atwood, the true north is a hazardous place that repels human beings. "Now it's the Near North Travel Area.... We don't want to be near. We want to be far." (True North, pp. 19) Like Atwood characterizes, north is defined as a location where no one should get close.