In the novel, the tulips somewhat symbolize the handmaid 's. Atwood is referring to how the handmaids have become empty. She might mean empty as not pregnant or referring to their mental state of loneliness and despair. The tulips explode slowly which mirrors how the Handmaids are dying slowly and suffering under Gilead 's rule and commanders. Atwood might be criticizing how some men are suppressing women around the world.
" She held her own hands out to us, the ancient gesture was both an offering and invitation, to come forward, into an embrace, an acceptance" (Atwood 47).
Through this image, Aunt Lydia symbolizes a priest, prophet or the Christ holding his hands to people and inviting them to his beliefs. Atwood is making a connection between Gilead and its religious base.
" I called it mine" ( Atwood 49).
Why did she call the room hers? This is an interesting line. she called the room hers to give herself possession over the room and feel that she still owns something and still have a value. She gave herself the power of possession which she lacks. Why was the commander in her room? I think he was looking for Offred for a certain reason. Maybe he wanted to satisfy his lust or just spy over her. In both cases, Offred feels violated. Atwood might be relating this to how women 's privacy is usually violated by men.
" Still, it was a message, and it was in writing, forbidden by that very fact, and it had not yet been discovered" ( Atwood 52)
Offred 's act of reading shows her rebellious side as reading is forbidden in Gilead. This symbolizes her opposition to Gilead 's despotism. B...
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... hers which might indicate that she is unsure about her husband 's loyalty. From this flashback, I predict that Luke might be with his old wife or another woman.
" Resettlement of the Children of Ham is continuing on schedule" ( Atwood 83).
This is an allusion from the bible about the children of Ham which relates to the curse of Canaan. In my opinion, this symbolizes or reflects racial discrimination and black slavery. Which might indicate that Gilead is reinforcing racist beliefs and color discrimination in their rule.
" The rings of her left hand cut into my fingers. It may or may not be revenge" (Atwood 94)
This reflects Serena 's feelings of envy and jealousy towards Offred as can 't give birth to a child and lacks what makes her a woman. It also outlines Offred 's sense of empathy towards Serena and caring personality as she gives Serena an excuse for doing so.
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