Symbolism In The Handmaid's Tale

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Symbolism can be defined as the use of symbols that an author uses to suggest more than the literal meaning of the object .Symbolism often allows the reader to understand the text better and connect with the story on a different level. In The Handmaid’s Tale, symbolism can be seen in various parts of the novel. One of the most common type of symbolism that can be identified in the text is through the use of colours. One of the most obvious symbols in the novel is the uniform that every Handmaid is supposed to wear. The whole dress is red except the top part of the dress. Talking about their dress, Offred says that is designed in such…show more content…
The wives are seen wearing the colour blue which symbolizes their power, seriousness and their coldness. The Marthas are seen wearing green which symbolizes jealousy, service and misfortune.
Atwood also uses symbols like flowers to describe the way that the Handmaids are treated. Throughout the book the narrator draws many comparisons between women and flowers. Often, flowers are considered as a symbol of fertility and beauty. In the book, flowers are highlighted as objects that can bloom and grow at a time when few women can. From a technical standpoint, flowers are also the part of a plant that holds the reproductive organs. They're constant reminders of the fertility that most women lack. It seems the older Wives are seeking to hang onto their attractiveness and fertility by decorating themselves with flowers and tending gardens. Serena Joy seems to enjoy mutilating the flowers ; flowers being the symbol for the Handmaids. This shows her hatred for the Handmaids
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It is narrated by the protagonist, Offred who is a handmaid forced into sexual servitude.
Facing a plunging birth rate, the fundamentalist regime treats women as property of the state. Handmaids are the few of the remaining fertile women and their sole purpose is to help the government into re-populating their society, where a lot of people are left sterile. The Handmaid’s Tale deals with the theme of women in subjugation to misogyny in a patriarchal society, primarily. It shows the struggle that women have to go through in that society, as a Handmaid or as not being able to be one. This is depicted through various sub-parts in the novel. Narrated through the character of Offred, the novel even reflects back on her life and the events that have led to this bizarre
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