Furthermore, Atwood, who was surrounded by the intellect of the female faculty members at Victoria College, often portrays female characters dominated by the patriarchal society in her poems. She also elucidates on women 's social oppression as a result of male sovereignty. Atwood studies “power, and how it operates and how it deforms or shapes the people who are living within that kind of regime” (Oppenheim). Perhaps, Atwood’s greatest feminist poems, related to the empowerment of women and their role in society, are “This Photograph of Me” and “Siren Song”. Atwood uses symbolism to express the thoughts of the speaker and the theme of female oppression.
It shows that serious consequences will occur if these problems stay unresolved. As a nation like the Republic of Gilead decides its policies based on biblical stories, it shows how extreme applications of those verses can lead to intrusion of human rights and degraded roles of women to only reproduce and nothing else. In addition, Atwood also focuses on the executions and persecution of women and constant efforts of these women to fight against the male-dominated society. Many of the characters such as Moira, Offred’s friend, Ofglen, another handmaid, Serena Joy and Offred, try to resist in her own way. Furthermore, I think there were many efforts by Atwood to use symbolism to represent motifs of the novel.
Atwood chooses the predominant color of red to indicate that the narrator is of a lower class by linking it to the themes of blood and infatuation. As opposed to using another color as the Handmaid’s uniform, Atwood specifically uses the color red due to its strong connotations to danger and human impulses. This is evident in the narrator’s remembrance of the past and ‘yearning for the future’, and implies the influence that this uniform has on the thinking of the narrator. When the narrator makes reference to the fact that ‘almost everything she wears is the color red: the color of
One of the ways that Atwood portrays this theme is by representing social groups and how they affect society as a whole. The handmaids, the social group most talked about, are the main way she portrays this theme and the affects power and privilege can have on society. The handmaids
Atwood depicts the importance of language in controlling thoughts by repressing ideas and creating isolation. As Offred faces the new Ofglen, she looks for clues whether or not the new Ofglen is a part of the uprising. They walk to the Wall, and the new Ofglen said, ‘“Let that be a reminder to us,’” Offred then contemplates the meaning of Ofglen’s words and whether to reply “Yes,” or “Praise be,”(284). Offred would say yes if Ofglen was referring to the brutality of the regime, and praise be to follow Gilead’s regime. Atwood’s vague language exemplifies its power to arise conflicting interpretations.
In the novel, Atwood focuses on exploring the relationships between women, which are very complicated. Women are separated into groups. Those have most freedom are the Wives, who are married to Commanders, and although they do not have such privileges like men, they still gain many benefits. Wives could visit other Wives, work on their gardens and knit. They have their husband to rely on, which is something they are proud of.
Atwood is able to represent the injustices through a satirical stand point and comical protagonist to understand the journey of these women and how they are portrayed within a society that doesn’t consider them as thoughtful, soulful people. Through the use of biblical allusions the audience can see what the women represent in the novel from bible and how they are predispositioned to be silent because of their portrayal in the Bible. The use of specific word choice shows the deliberate words that spark a tone in each scene and leave a lasting impact towards the audience. Atwood comments on the issues of today by making fun of the thoughts and actions of the characters that represent the rest of the world. Through Offred’s eyes, audience is able to acknowledge and accept the extent to which gender roles are placed in society and how women are portrayed as silenced, domestic
Moreover, it means that Atwood “takes what already exists and makes an imaginative leap into the future” (Synder 470) by employing the scientific means which were at hand when she wrote the book (Wolter 259). She imagines what could happen if humanity followed the path it is already on, concerning the abuse of scientific progress
Losing her identity has caused her to look back frequently on her past identity. Atwood has the narrator reflect on her past identity to show how big the difference is in her current identity. Even more, Atwood is pointing out that when someone loses something, they realize how grateful they are for it and how important it was before it was taken. To further hold onto her identity Offred spends a lot of time reflecting on her past and who who is. "The night is mine, my own time, to do with it as I will, as long as I am quiet,” (Atwood 49).