Red is worn only by the handmaids; the color red indicates sexuality, fertility and childbirth, accordingly outlining their function as a sexual object; their sole purpose being to bear children for their Commanders. One of the most reoccurring symbols throughout the novel, red is interrelated with all things female (the Handmaids.) Inversely, red is furthermore a symbol of death, violence and blood, which Offred portrays as a color which “defines us.” The reoccurring appearance of the color red creates a thought-provoking parallel between femininity and power, as it signifies the religious “sinfulness” of promiscuous sex between the handmaid’s and their “married” commander.
Offred later states: “I never looked good in red, it’s not my color,” implying the sacrifice of her individuality due to the roles Gilead has forced her into. It is not their intellige...
... middle of paper ...
...ed tulips in place and keeping them alive, there are human beings under the white bags, but Offred is beginning to neglect what is under her red dress. Offred aches to reminisce about the life she once knew, yet now images are enforced into her mind and she understands them how her cult/society now requires her to perceive this different world.
Red is a scandalous and dishonorable color, outlining the Handmaids as such. Everything correlated with the handmaids is red; Offred’s own name, for instance, which so distressingly epitomizes dualism can be read as "Of Fred," signifying her ownership to her commander-yet furthermore can be read as "Off Red,” suggesting off with the red dress, symbolizing her yearning for nonconformity from the red dress and all the afflictions correlated with red in her life- blood, death and violence, which have come to “define” her.
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