The Handmaid 's Tale By Margaret Atwood

856 Words4 Pages
The Handmaid’s Tale is filled with stimulating, thought-provoking themes. The book can be analyzed with many different considerations, each of them leading into an individual theme. In the novel The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood, the theme of control is prevalent, and is significant in that it establishes many of the premises that contribute to the main conflicts of their society. In this essay I will discuss how the theme of control results in conflict regarding the way they dress, their identity, and the rights that they have. For the handmaids in particular, there are extreme regulations regarding how they are allowed to dress, which in turn dictates many other aspects of their lives, and further separating them from the rest of the women in Gilead. The handmaids are commanded to wear clothing that is excessively modest; no skin is shown except for their faces, which even then is shielded on the sides by large white wings. These wings have a dual function – they prevent them “from seeing, but also from being seen” (Atwood ). The wings do not only keep the handmaids from looking around at their surroundings unnecessarily, but keep other members of the society from looking at their faces, or making eye contact with them. This is just one example of how their clothing dictates other aspects of their lives. The wings represent the solitude of the lives of these women. The clothing that handmaids are regimented to wear is red in colour. Throughout the society, to the
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