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Symbolism In the Handmaid's Tale

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Zara Ahmed

on 18 April 2013

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Transcript of Symbolism In the Handmaid's Tale

The Eyes Thesis Overview Although symbolism can be viewed as something positive, it holds more power when used negatively. Thesis Important Symbols Harvard University Harvard The Wall By: Zara A and Maryam A Important Symbolism in the Handmaid's Tale Explanation of Important Symbolism The Eyes Serena Joy's Garden Colours Names Colours Names Serena Joy's Garden Open Discussion What Is a Symbol? What is a symbol? What makes one positive? What makes one negative? Eggs, Uterus, Fertility The Nazi Swastika vs. The Hindu Swastik Auschwitz Wall of Death In The Handmaids Tale Cambodian Genocide (genocidewatch.org) Eggs, Uterus, Fertility. Red: Handmaids Blue: Wives Green: Marthas Blue checkered Scarves Passage: Passage: Passage: Passage: Passage: Passage: "Everything except the wings around my face is red: the color of blood, which defines us" (9). "we walk along the path once used by students, past buildings that were once lecture halls and dormitories...From the outside you can't tell that anything's changed, except that the blinds on most of the windows are drawn down. These buildings belong to the Eyes now. We file onto the wide lawn in front of what used to be the library. The white steps going up are still the same, the main entrance is unaltered. There's a wooden stage erected on the lawn, something like the one they used every spring for commencement, in the time before...But this stage is not the same after all, because of the three wooden posts that stand on it, with loops of rope" (340). "'Has Ofglen been transferred, so soon?' I ask. But I know she hasn't. I saw her only this morning. She would have said. `I am Ofglen,' the woman says. Word perfect. And of course she is, the new one, and Ofglen, wherever she is, is no longer Ofglen. I never did know her real name. That is how you get lost, in a sea of names. It wouldn't be easy to find her, now" (353). Offred + Ofglen + Ofwarren = Oppression Brown: Aunts Although symbolism can be viewed as something positive, it holds more power when used negatively. Thesis "I wonder who told them. It could have been a neighbor...It could have even 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" (241-242). "There is something subversive about this garden of Serena's, a sense of buried things bursting upwards, wordlessly, into the light, as if to point, to say: whatever is silenced will clamor to be heard, though silently" (190). "we rise, crowd around Janine, squeezing her, patting her. She's crying too...The baby washed now and quiet, is placed ceremoniously in her arms...The Commander's Wife looks down at the baby as if it's a bouquet of flowers: something she's won, a tribute. The Wives are here to bear witness to the naming...We stand between Janine and the bed, so she won't have to see this...She'll be allowed to nurse the baby, for a few months, they believe in mother's milk. After that she'll be transferred to see if she can do it again, with someone else who needs a turn" (158-159).
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