Essay On The Color Red In The Handmaid's Tale

Improved Essays
What symbolic role does the color red play in the novel?
The color red symbolizes a lot of things in the Handmaid's Tale. The question is up to many different interpretations and one of the many includes women's fertility. Women in the society of Gilead are only valued based on their fertility and whether or not a woman is able to give birth to a healthy human life determines their ranking in the system. When Janine had given birth to “unbabies”, she was shamed at and her babies were deemed sinful. This goes to show that Gilead will only accept healthy babies or else women have no purpose as a handmaid. The act of conceiving a “proper” baby guarantees the handmaids from being deemed as an unwomen. On another note, the color red symbolizes death.
…show more content…
For Janine, she played a crucial part in giving the readers an idea of how Gileadean society works when a women isn’t able to give birth to a “proper” child. Janine has had two “unbabies” and because of this, she was shamed at. Women are only valuable because they are vessels to reproduce and continue on the population. Janine’s situation goes to show that if you don’t have the perfect outcome, a normal baby, you are no better than the Econowives or the unwomen. On the contrary, the act of producing a healthy baby is seen as a blessing. When Ofwarren was first introduced at the market, strutting around with her baby bump (26), all the handmaids were jealous and some were excited for her. The act of having a baby with the Commanders gets you in a better position than if you weren’t pregnant. Handmaids are treated with the utmost care when they are in their pregnancy stages and for the handmaid themselves, they are able to have a sense of pride. Ofwarren leaving her home isn’t the ideal situation however, she went out anyways in order to show off her bump. Having a baby holds so much value in the Gileadean society that, when Offred was

Related Documents

  • Improved Essays

    A mother should have the ability to nurse her child at any time and any place. Many still find this an issue in today’s society and continue to view this act as disrespectful or not be courteous to others. Breast feeding should be accepted publicly because it is a beautiful and natural thing to do and not see breasts as a sexual item. Also, it offers endless benefits to both mother and child and how it can affect us economically. Every human was born from their mother’s womb and most likely…

    • 862 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    When women are questioned for breastfeeding in public, it is because they are not benefitting society. This solely comes down to the fact that society is taught at an early age girls are to be objects for entertainment. Not only does gender inequality physically objectify women, it is mentally harmful to them as well. Many young girls have grown up with the mentality that their job in life is to marry a man, have children, cook, clean house, and tend to the family’s every need. For all of the daughters out there that aspire to become astronauts, doctors, and political leaders, their hopes of achieving those dreams are diminished because they feel that they cannot challenge a ‘man’s job’.…

    • 1103 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Great Essays

    Women who are pregnant can feel the same way if they’re contemplating an abortion because they are being forced to do something against their will. In Pregnant, and No Civil Rights, Paltrow and Flavin cite, “In Iowa, a pregnant woman who fell down a flight of stairs was reported to the police after seeking help at a hospital. She was arrested for “attempted fetal homicide (Paltrow).” How unfair and unjust of the government to punish this woman simply because she was pregnant. Would she have been punished if she was not pregnant? Probably not.…

    • 1366 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Great Essays
  • Great Essays

    The last reason that Dr. Toner lists as a reason that women pursue illegal abortion is to avoid the social castigation of giving birth to an illegitimate child. This line of thought is most convincing to contemporary physicians, as the misogynistic views of women in society deemed “the virtuous reputation of a female in good society is almost as important as life, for the loss of it will surely cost her her position” and thus lead to “shame, dishonor, and perhaps degradation” (Toner 443). He criticizes these women “who could rashly commit a greater crime to prevent the publicity, and hide the shame of a lesser,” in particular “their shame of illicit intercourse” (Toner 443). The specific word choices highlighted through direct quotations of Dr. Toner’s article are evidence of misogynistic attitudes toward women that undercut ethical arguments supporting women’s autonomy to their…

    • 1440 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Great Essays
  • Superior Essays

    Even in the case that the surrogate mother already has a sense of detachment to the growing baby inside her womb, it is ethically immoral because she would be more prone to put herself and the baby at risk. In most cases, women cannot back out of a contract once they have agreed to give birth for the commissioning parents. As result, even if the woman were to have second thoughts and want to keep her baby, she would not be able to, and this would cause her much distress and damage her psychologically, having to give her child away for money. Second of all, there is also a problem that arises with the cheapening a person’s goal on self-respect. In most cases, when money involved in the exchanging of lives, there is the issue of self-respect called into question.…

    • 1800 Words
    • 8 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Improved Essays

    These excuses can be seen as stupid and dumb to most people. Some women don’t want to be pregnant simply because they just don’t want to be fat and they really do think that fat is a good and reasonable excuse to kill an unborn child. They also don’t want the boyfriends to find out and would break up for having his baby. They choose to see that there is no other way other than an abortion. Adoption is a way to help women from taking on the responsibility of having a new baby in their lives.…

    • 758 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Being a mother usually brings happiness, wonderful memories, and love. However, in Gwendolyn Brooks’ poem “The Mother” (568) does not bring happiness or good memories, but love in return. Imagery is used throughout the poem and gives it a visual aspect of the true meaning within. Some people disagree with women aborting their unborn children and that they do not love or care for the babies. Abortion is a matter of the mother and an unborn child, and the reasons for which they believe is right for their child.…

    • 814 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Superior Essays

    They’re just murdering innocent babies! Blah, blah, blah!” Of course, there are several reasons why the female may have wanted an abortion. However, the simple reason that applies to a large majority of women, is that she strongly believes she is unable to take full responsibility or care of the child to an extent where it is socially acceptable. A common reason among young soon-to-be mothers include, that, she isn’t financially able to care for the child; the child’s needs of food, proper, clean clothing, a comfortable crib-these luxuries may not be possible for whatever reason on the mother’s part. Women everywhere feel unfit to be considered a mother; their emotions towards parenting are negative and feel they simply can not meet these essential needs for the…

    • 1293 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Great Essays

    Macbeth And Hamlet Analysis

    • 2741 Words
    • 11 Pages

    Wandering womb was the belief that a displaced uterus was the cuase of varius medical pathologies of women. Marriage was diagnosed as the cure for this pathological condition because it was believed that the womb wandered as a result of the termination of menstruation due to sexual inactivity. Thus if Ophelia truly was suffering with hysteria it would mean that she and Hamlet did not engage in any sexual relations. The wandering womb was also a way to assert power over women, who needed to be protected from their own desires. Doctor perscriptions consisted of suggestions such as for women to be pregnant as often as possible to keep the womb occupied, and therefore it would be in its rightful place as the female would…

    • 2741 Words
    • 11 Pages
    Great Essays
  • Superior Essays

    They were often overcompensating for the lack of knowledge they had on the issues that they were expected to solve. Mothers were very quick to improve and adapt when presented with a better way on how to do things with their prenatal or newborn, all for the health and wellness of that child. One mother, while writing the Bureau about her child’s diet, said, “I want to know if you think (the doctor) is right or not.” (Ladd-Taylor 1986, page 97). Another mother said the similar, “The doctor here told me he’d outgrow his anemia and coated tongue but I doubt it.” (Ladd-Taylor 1986, page 72) This continued draw away from doctors and towards other mother’s advice shows that there was certain aspect of child care that the mothers were not buying…

    • 1968 Words
    • 8 Pages
    Superior Essays