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The Uses Of Symbolism In The Handmaid's Tale

The Handmaid’s Tale In the real world, different symbols are used to help people understand things, and to add different effects onto people’s lives. For example a pendent a women or man wears from the army helps someone understand what they’ve been through and helps portray them as a strong individual. In novels which may have complex story lines like The Handmaids tale it is important that these novels have some symbolism to help the reader decode what some details in the novel represent, helping them understand the plot more in-depth. Through the novel of the Handmaid Tale by Margaret Atwood, symbolism is present and that helps to enhance the story line, as well as contribute an important factor in which is helping the reader understand…show more content…
The Eyes are the terrifying and aggressive secretive enforcers of the law. The Eyes symbolize God and how he is always watching, they are always watching as well. “I wonder who told them. It could have been a neighbour, watching our car pull out from the driveway in the morning, acting on a hunch, tipping them off for a gold star on someone’s list. It could even have been the man who got us the passports; why not get paid twice? Like them, even, to plant the passport forgers themselves, a net for the unwary. The Eyes of God run over all the earth.”(65). This symbolism is an important feature of the book because it creates fear for the citizens of Gilead. To the citizens it symbolizes a higher authority that is capable of doing great harm and is always watching. “We aren’t allowed inside the buildings anymore; but who would want to go in? Those buildings belong to the Eyes.” (166). The fear that the Eyes add to the story line reminds the reader how aggressive and evil the government of Gilead is, that the characters of the novel have such strong fear towards these people. From this the characters weaknesses are apparent. For example the main character Offred is a strong woman who does not express fear, though when you hear her talk about the Eyes you see a part of her weakness and fear peak through. In addition a feature that the Eyes bring to the novel is suspense. Whenever the characters see the van with the…show more content…
Some of the main symbols of the novel are The Hanging Wall, the colours of the clothing of the different women and the Eyes. All these symbols add different features to the story which are important. Some add fear, suspense, and overall they all add an important understanding of the story line. Margaret Atwood, was able to successfully create symbols which added depth and helped with the understanding of the novel. With these symbols she used in the novel she proved the importance and the positive effects strong symbolism can have with plot and character
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