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Eng4u Symposium

Essay by   •  June 4, 2019  •  Case Study  •  768 Words (4 Pages)  •  789 Views

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Governments that place the needs of a society over the rights of individuals in said society, can lead to a totalitarian and tyrannous society.

1. “There are other women with baskets, some in red, some in the dull green of the Marthas, some in the striped dresses, red and blue and green and cheap and skimp, that mark the women of the poorer men. Econowives, they're called. These women are not divided into functions. They have to do everything; if they can.” –Page 24

There is a great use of symbolism used in this quote to relate back to theme. By associating different colors with different groupings in Gilead, it helps the reader visualise what happens when a society's demands are more valued than their freedom and integrity. In The Handmaid’s Tale, the color red, is the representative color of the Handmaid class. Handmaids are shown in red to mark their importance in this dystopian society, signifying to others that this woman is seen as a valuable asset to society due to her fertility. Furthermore, the connection between symbolism and the society in which the characters exist is that the color red can also be associated with menstrual blood, also symbolizing fertility. Next there are the in-house Servants, recognized by their dull green color. The color green in the book is used to symbolize subjugation, and how these servants exist only as servants to those who belong to higher social classes . Finally, there are women of multiple colors. These women belong to more lower class men and are symbolized as what Gilead would consider as cheap and skimpy. This portrayal is further solidified by how they are named “Econowives”. All of this ties back to theme, by illustrating just how much of an oppressive and tyrannical society Gilead is. By putting women in these unjust and cruel groupings, based

2. “I read about that, in Introduction to Psychology; that, and the chapter on caged rats who’d give themselves electric shocks for something to do.” –Page 70

This quote offers a good example of Situational Irony. In the quotation Offred recalls her time in college where they would conduct science experiments on mice. Offred and other Handmaids are like the mice looking for something to do, which in their case is getting impregnated. They all are representative of a rat confined in its cage wanting to do something rather than nothing, evoking a sorrowful mood in the reader while also greatly elucidating their current situational irony.

3. "Her fault, her fault, her fault, we chant in unison." –Page 72

This is just one of the uses of repetition on page 72 in The Handmaid’s Tale. For some context, these rallying calls are shouted during the Handmaid’s testimony. One of the Handmaids, Janine,



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