Theme Of Language In The Handmaids Tale

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Language is an important tool with which communication and interaction takes place. In defining the culture of particular group of people, language would always be used as one of the major characteristics. This completely fabricated and constructed system of communication is not more natural to humans than cell phones. Aside from the literal view of language as being a verbal expression, language transcends to bring out various elements that makes a group sharing it unique. A deeper reflection on the use of coded language in the Republic of Gilead would radically change the United States of America. Atwood 's The Handmaid 's Tale provides clear examples of how language can and does influence, control and oppress a society. Names given to individuals …show more content…
The use of red color can indicate the fertility that is characterized with the handmaids and show the respect for their capability to enhance the continuity of the society through birth.. The fact that a single letter of the word can be used to pass two contrasting ideologies shows the complexity of the Gilead society. In the Handmaid 's Tale, various items have been used to symbolize or pass certain messages to the society. In the state of Gilead, the handmaids wear red costume that symbolizes fertility. Therefore, the dresses portray their primary functions as that of giving birth. The handmaids who cannot bear children are branded the “Unwoman” nickname and get continuously dissaproved for their condition. According to Atwood, the color red also implies the blood of the menstrual cycle and childbirth. The use of winged eyes that represent the eyes of God refer to the Gilead’s secret police which shows the watchfulness of the theocratic state. Therefore, the Gilead society has adopted the ideology that the eyes of the state and God are the same. In this concept, the state has been depicted as the ultimate force. If any resistance comes up, the state will use its limitless powers to subject them. Therefore, the idea keeps the society rooted to the theocratic nature of the ruling regime without the possibility of …show more content…
This is well brought out by repetitive phrase, “context is all”. This is well demonstrated when Offered has to play Scrabble with her commander, During this time, the phrase “context is all” is used as a reference to the changes that have taken place in the Republic, since the theocratic administration took. In this moment, the narrator says that the "the game of old men and women" had become "desirable". By using this term desirable, there is the deeper meaning, that the game had been banned for women. In other words, the government was inclined into watering down the rights and freedoms that had been previously granted to women.
There is no doubt that the Republic of Gilead uses language to keep authority in place. The novel The Handmaid 's Tale has successfully demonstrated that language can be used by those in authority to serve the interests of the political class at the expense of the subjects. The success in the use of language in the Gilead Republic is based around the theocratic ideas. The abstractness of religion and the failure by believers to seek the proof for certain argumentation makes it easier for theocracy to be used by those seeking to serve their selfish

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