Symbolism In Handmaid's Tale By Margaret Atwood

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INTRODUCTION: I’d like to share a quote with you this morning. It is “Power politics is the diplomatic name for the law of the jungle” - Ely Culbertson. We have all seen events that prove this statement true in our short teenage lives. For instance, the election of Donald Trump and regime of Kim Jong Un have shown us the struggle for power in a relationship can reflect the shocking injustice man is capable of. Looking at these two images, we can see that red is a common color of power for it is the most striking. The government in Margaret Atwood’s Handmaid’s tale not only follows the pattern of tyranny, but much like Kim Jong Un and Donald Trump, it uses red to symbolize its power over society. Therefore, Using the handmaid’s wardrobe,…show more content…
Because of his paralyzation, he feels his body is a diving bell, weighing down his free mind, symbolized by the butterfly. I allegorized this as a representation of Offred for she has a free mind but is imprisoned by her own diving bell: her red cloak. Like the ensemble and flowers, cigarettes, specifically the glowing red end of a lit one, represent the power relationship between the Handmaid’s and the state. To give context, during the 1920s a revolution started for women to smoke for it meant she was challenging the taboo that women were not to smoke. Therefore, smoking symbolized power and independence for a women. With that being said, Atwood uses cigarettes to connote to power for every authoritative figure is seen with one. For instance, Serena Joy. Serena asserts her supremacy over Offred when she begins to smoke a lit cigarette upon meeting Offred for the first time. Offred implies her relationship with Serena saying “she then was a woman who might bend the rules… I looked at the cigarette with longing. For me, like liquor and coffee, they are forbidden.” Otherwise stated, Serena encompasses the authority to “bend the rules” whilst Offred must obey the limitations bestowed upon her by her red cloak. Offred further expresses Serena’s dominance when she quenches her cigarette with “one jab and one grind, not the series of genteel taps favored by many of the wives,” for this indicates Serena’s unequivocal declaration of power, whilst Offered gazes with a yearning
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