Symbolism Of The Handmaid 's Tale Essay

Symbolism Of The Handmaid 's Tale Essay

Length: 1981 words (5.7 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Strong Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

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 the novel more clearly. Some examples of the symbolism in the novel are the Hanging Wall, the apparel of the women in Gilead and the Eyes. These all contribute to the novel in an important and effective way.
The Hanging Wall is an area in Gilead where people that disobey the rules of the government are hung. They are tortured before hand and later their bodies are displayed to the public with white bags over their heads. “Beside the main gateway there are six more bodies hanging, by the necks, their hands tied in front of them, their heads in white bags tipped sideways onto their shoulders. There must have been a Men’s Salvaging early this morning. I didn’t hear the bells. Perhaps I’ve become used to them. We stop, together as if on signal and stand and look at the bodies. It doesn’t matter if we look. We’re supposed to look: this is what they are there for, hanging on the Wall. Sometimes they’ll be there for days, until there’s a new batch, so as many people as possible will have the chanc...


... middle of paper ...


... Eyes are the villains of The Handmaids tale. Additionally the symbolism of the Eyes is important because it adds fear to the characters, creates suspense for both the readers and characters and creates a vital villain in the novel.
The Handmaids tale is a novel which is filled with symbolism. 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 development.









Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Symbolism and Loss of Identity in The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood

- Symbolism and Loss of Identity in The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood In Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale, Offred recounts the story of her life and that of others in Gilead, but she does not do so alone. The symbolic meanings found in the dress code of the women, the names/titles of characters, the absence of the mirror, and the smell and hunger imagery aid her in telling of the repugnant conditions in the Republic of Gilead. The symbols speak with a voice of their own and in decibels louder than Offred can ever dare to use....   [tags: Handmaid's Tale Essays Atwood ]

Strong Essays
934 words (2.7 pages)

Essay on Journal Topics for Erica Joan Dymond´s The Handmaid’s Tale

- Journal 1, Option 1 Erica Joan Dymond, author of “Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale” (2003), asserts that the theme of the oyster/pearl relationship is the most prevalent them in the book and leads the plot. Dymond uses a plethora of concrete details and quotes from the text, using them to analyze the meaning of this oyster/pearl theme and relationship. Erica Dymond’s purpose is to explicate the prevalence and significance of this theme in the novel in order to show its importance to readers of the book who may have overlooked this crucial aspect....   [tags: Submissive, Symbolism]

Strong Essays
981 words (2.8 pages)

Essay on The Dystopia in Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale

- The Dystopia in Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale Offred is a Handmaid in what used to be the United States, now the theocratic Republic of Gilead. In order to create Gilead's idea of a more perfect society, they have reverted to taking the Book of Genesis at its word. Women no longer have any privileges; they cannot work, have their own bank accounts, or own anything. The also are not allowed to read or even chose who they want to marry. Women are taught that they should be subservient to men and should only be concerned with bearing children....   [tags: Handmaid's Tale Essays]

Strong Essays
1097 words (3.1 pages)

The Handmaid 's Tale By Margaret Atwood Essay

- The Handmaid`s Tale by Margaret Atwood is a novel that displays a vast amount of issues. One of those main themes in the novel is identity. In the Handmaid`s Tale the main character and narrator of our story deals with issues of identity. She battles throughout the story trying to find out who she is and remembering who she was. She constantly makes comparisons and contrasts with the life she is living in Gilead to the life she lived before the regime. As readers we notice the lack of identity of this character since the beginning....   [tags: The Handmaid's Tale, Margaret Atwood]

Strong Essays
1751 words (5 pages)

Margaret Atwood 's The Handmaid 's Tale Essay

- Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale provides a look into a dystopian world of complete male dominance. Women have been entirely denied of their basic needs, and are no longer able to live as individuals. For decades preceding the creation of Gilead, women were regarded as subordinate to men. These inequalities often led women to believe they were inferior and lacked the knowledge and power men seemed to display. They were not granted access to voting rights, equal wages, or job opportunities. As the years progressed, women fought for equal rights; however, these accomplishments were soon revoked with the transition of the United States, into a totalitarian region known as The Republic of G...   [tags: The Handmaid's Tale, Margaret Atwood]

Strong Essays
1333 words (3.8 pages)

The Red Symbol in The Handmaid's Tale Essay

- In the dystopian novel, "The Handmaid's Tale" written by Margaret Atwood, the color red is a reoccurring, significant symbol throughout the book. The dominant color of the novel, the color red is paired with the Handmaids. The Handmaids are always seen in their red uniform, even down to their red shoes and red gloves. From the opening pages of the novel we are informed that they are trained at the “Red Centre,” and we are introduced to the importance of the red imagery as Offred, the narrator and protagonist of the novel, describes herself getting dressed: “The red gloves are lying on the bed....   [tags: Literature, Margaret Atwood]

Strong Essays
1155 words (3.3 pages)

Essay on The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood

- The role of a Handmaid in the Republic of Gilead is ultimately to breed, and nothing more. Cooped up in a nondescript room with nothing but her own thoughts and painful memories for company, the narrator, Offred, shows many signs of retreating further and further into her own world, and becoming slowly more unstable throughout the course of the novel as her terrible new life continues. The most common and by far the most disturbing example of this is the use of imagery and symbolism in the book....   [tags: essays research papers]

Free Essays
1307 words (3.7 pages)

The Handmaid's Tale Essay

- In Margaret Atwood’s ‘The Handmaids Tale’, we hear a transcribed account of one womans posting ‘Offred’ in the Republic of Gilead. A society based around Biblical philosophies as a way to validate inhumane state practises. In a society of declining birth rates, fertile women are chosen to become Handmaids, walking incubators, whose role in life is to reproduce for barren wives of commanders. Older women, gay men, and barren Handmaids are sent to the colonies to clean toxic waste. Fear is power. Fear is ever-present in Gilead; it is implemented through violence and force....   [tags: The Handmaid's Tale Essays]

Strong Essays
904 words (2.6 pages)

A Handmaid's Tale Essay

- A Handmaid's Tale A new society is created by a group of people who strengthen and maintain their power by any means necessary including torture and death. Margaret Atwood's book, A Handmaid's Tale, can be compared to the morning after a bad fight within an abusive relationship. Being surrounded by rules that must be obeyed because of being afraid of the torture that will be received. There are no other choices because there is control over what is done, who you see and talk to, and has taken you far away from your family....   [tags: Handmaid's Tale Essays]

Free Essays
1650 words (4.7 pages)

The Handmaid's Tale Essay

- The Handmaid's Tale The Handmaids Tale, written by Margaret Attwood, goes on to explore the consequences that come to be from the reversal of womens rights in a society called Gilead. It is what one can consider a cautionary tale. In the new world of Gilead, a group of conservative religious extremists have taken power, and have turned the sexual revolution upside down. The society of Gilead is founded on what is to be considered a return to traditional values, gender roles and the subjugation of women by men, and the Bible is used as the guiding principle....   [tags: Margaret Atwood Handmaid's Tale Essays]

Strong Essays
1987 words (5.7 pages)