A Dismal Future

The first 2 parts of the The Handmaiden’s Tale by Margaret Atwood is confusing , it is a first person point of view  so far, so any info gathered is from the main characters perspective only. But i understood why. It shows us the perspective of the main character, Offred, she remembers the time when she had her own free will and that she had her freedom. “I hated to waste them and would stuff them in under the sink, until the day would come when there would be too many” (Atwood27) .

The U.S.A. became this authoritarian country land now named Gilead. In this place the ruler and leader is called the Commander and he regulates everyone life by making them either officers in his command or slaves of varying degrees. The clothes she wears represents her status and job in society and is the only clothes she can wear”Everything except the wings around my face is red: the color of blood, which define us. The skirt is ankle-length, full, gathered to a flat yoke that extends over the breasts, the sleeves are full. The white wings too are prescribed issue; they are too keep us from seeing, but also from being seen.”(8) This is reminds me of a nun in red that has on blinders that not only stops you from seeing but others from whistling or harassing you.

The society Offred lives in uses colors as a code for status in this society “black, for the Commander, blue, for the Commander’s wife and the one assigned to me, which is red.”(9) When Offred describes a woman named Rita she describes her color “She’s in her usual Martha’s dress, which is dull green,like a surgeon’s gown of the time before.”(9) This shows that there will be more examples of color’s representing status in this society but what interests me is that hen the angels are mentioned they had a very different description “They were objects of fear to us,”(4) We don’t get a description of the Angels but of it made her feel. Why is there no description of them. Is it just a rank  do they have color schemed at all?   Something i noticed about her name which i just noticed about her name, its Off-red and she wears all red everyday which represents her wanting to be different from the fate society put her in.

Offred is afraid of almost all people surrounding her. Especially the Commander’s wife and even the young guardians, ” The young ones are often the most dangerous, the most fanatical, the jumpiest with their guns” (20). “She is always prepared for the worst, and is always reminded that she might not survive, ” Not all of you will make it through. Some of you will fall on dry ground or thorns. Some of you are shallow-rooted.” (18). I understand why Aunt Lydia made her memorize this, what the Martha, Rita, said about the wife of the Commander “Stillborn it was. Or, stabbed her with a knitting needle, right in the belly. Jealousy, it must have been, eating her up..”(11) its possible that they are very much expendable properties of the government and because of this are not as valued or privileged as they were taught.


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