Symbols In Handmaid's Tale

Satisfactory Essays
In Handmaid’s tale (novel) there are couple symbols such as Handmaid’s red habit, flowers, scribble, and Harvard’s Wall. As we can notice in Novel, Offred often uses the symbols such as different colors. For example, the red color of costumes which were worn by Handmaid’s symbolizes fruitfulness, which they bear a child and it’s also a uniform color for the Handmaid’s. According to Offred” red: the color of blood, which defines us” (p. 8,9). Red also symbolized the menstrual cycle and childbirth. Red is a traditional marker of sexual sin according to Hester Prynne in Nathaniel Hawthorne’s tale of Puritan ideology. (p.64). in addition, Offred gives extra attention to flowers. They are symbols of fertility and beauty. It is interesting that the flowers were in those parts of the plants where a reproductive organ could be …show more content…
"I'd like you to play a game of Scrabble with me," he says. (p. 138). When Offred and Commander became closer, commander invites her to play a game “scrabble”. The purpose of this game is to show the competition over language between Commander and Offred. Who is the most skilled at creating words, wins the game. This shows how the Gilead society manipulates the words to extract the political ideologies and therefore they did not allow women to read. “They put out books on birth control and rape and things like that” (p. 178). Instead of that they use the terms like “unbaby” and unwomen” in society. Another symbol is Harvard University. The Republic of Gilled transformed Harvard University into a detention center. It’s shows totally mess in Gilead society. A place where people used to get knowledge has completely converted into a place of excruciation. For example, the Eyes of God give punishments to people by using the university rooms and afterwards hang them into Wall as “hook”. According to Offred “What they are hanging from is hooks. The hooks have been set into the brickwork of the Wall, for this purpose” (p.

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • Good Essays

    The Handmaid’s Tale Chapter 12 (“Is That a Symbol”) of How to Read Literature Like a Professor by Thomas Foster, relates to the novel, “The Handmaid’s Tale”because of its symbolism. The different colors each character wears, represents something different about who they are in the Gilead society. For example, the handmaid’s all wear red clothes, which symbolizes their fertility and their ability to create a child. However, it can also represent death and prohibition. Offred realizes that she is surrounded…

    • 640 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    objects instead of being treated as human being. In the novel handmaids tale Margaret Atwood depicts the inequality and disrespect that women are forced to suffer through, through the use of symbols. In the handmaids tale by Margaret Atwood the citizens of the totalitarians regime project their traumatic experiences onto symbols Feminine symbols are shown through food and items. The females in the book, especially Offred, use the symbols to associate themselves with them. Eggs are usually collected by the…

    • 878 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    The Handmaid's Tale

    • 236 Words
    • 1 Page

    in The Handmaid's Tale is important. The novel takes place in the Republic of Gilead in the 1980's, and Gilead is ruled by a totalitarian government. In this particular government, there is a hierarchy that separates women and men into groups. Under this government the women are suppressed in general things are strict. The focal setting is Cambridge, Massachusetts home of notable ivy league Harvard University where the “The Wall,” is located. The puritans were religious in The Handmaid's Tale religion…

    • 236 Words
    • 1 Page
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    The Handmaid's Tale

    • 612 Words
    • 3 Pages

    Christa Bennett Atwood does a fantastic job of incorporating color symbolism throughout The Handmaid’s Tale. One of the main colors she uses to push her plot forward is the color red. When you think of the color red what do you think of... love, rage, anger, power, Communism... maybe blood. In the book The Handmaid’s Tale, red is the color of the handmaids. The Handmaids always wear long red habits if you will; that covers their whole body. “The skirt is ankle-length, full, gathered to a flat…

    • 612 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    The Handmaid's Tale

    • 607 Words
    • 3 Pages

    Comparing texts forces us to question our values in the context of the author’s zeitgeist and our own. The dystopia novel The Handmaid’s Tale (1985), written by Margaret Atwood, and the film adaptation Children of Men (2006), directed by Alfonso Cuarón, both examine the abuse of power by totalitarian government regimes which come about as a result of chaotic disasters. These oppressive governments’ abuse of their given power creates a dystopic world, and with it come restrictions to individual freedom…

    • 607 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    The Handmaid’s Tale

    • 744 Words
    • 3 Pages

    The Handmaid’s Tale Response Paper The motif of time is very apparent in this section. Time, something are never thought much of before her new life, is now an object she thinks about frequently. “There’s time to spare. This is one of the things I wasn’t prepared for – the amount of unfilled time,” (Atwood 69). “In the afternoons we lay o our beds for an hour in the gymnasium…they were giving us a chance to get used to blank time,” (70). “The clock ticks with its pendulum, keeping time my feet…

    • 744 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    The Handmaid's Tale

    • 1280 Words
    • 6 Pages

    Darren Jacob Mrs. Jones English 1B October 31, 2013 The Complex Commander Offred says to herself, “What do you mean? The Commander, it must be. See me? What does he mean by see? Hasn’t he had enough of me?”(99). In Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale, The Commander is a man who expresses several sides of his character and personality. Throughout the book the Commander shows character traits of someone who is emotional and sympathetic. In their society, the Republic of Gilead, the Commander…

    • 1280 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Powerful Essays

    Handmaid's Tale

    • 1818 Words
    • 8 Pages

    “This is a reconstruction. All of it a reconstruction…” Chapter 23 Is the narrative of The Handmaid’s Tale merely a reconstruction of events? At first, The Handmaid’s Tale (1986) may purely seem like a reconstruction of events. However, when examined more closely the reader can see that Atwood has used many narrative and poetic techniques. Each of these devices develop the novel into so much more than just a simple reconstruction of events, it becomes a precise and planned piece of work;…

    • 1818 Words
    • 8 Pages
    Powerful Essays
  • Powerful Essays

    Handmaid's Tale

    • 1171 Words
    • 5 Pages

    Bible or any other text. The next highest up is the commander's wife. She has writes and privileges about all other women. Aunt's are responsible for getting the handmaids ready for their society. They pound the ideas of the new culture into the handmaid's head so that when they enter it seems normal. Handmaids are the next class, they are the only women who can reproduce they are forced to have children for upper class couples women are often compromised by a forced sexual nature, thereby allowing…

    • 1171 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Powerful Essays
  • Good Essays

    Handmaid's Tale

    • 547 Words
    • 3 Pages

    Language in The Handmaid’s Tale For centuries, “the pen is mightier than the sword” has been the adage du jour. Words do more damage than swords, spreading ideas instead of killing people. One dangerous little idea, passed among individuals, does more damage than any blade could ever do; few armies can hold out against strong ideas. In the state of Gilead, words mean everything, and they have the ultimate power. The women in Margaret Atwoods’ dystopian novel The Handmaid’s Tale have very limited…

    • 547 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays