Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale

Categories: The Handmaid’s Tale

Metaphorical language was utilized by Margaret Atwood, through the personality of Offred, to illustrate The Handmaid's Tale. Metaphorical Language consists of similes, metaphors, personification, alliteration, onomatopoeia, embellishment, and idioms.

First, figurative language can be utilized to describe different settings. 1. Offred's experience in the evening in her bedroom "The heat at night is worse than the heat in daytime. Even with the fan on, absolutely nothing moves, and the walls save up heat, offering it out like a used oven. Certainly, it will drizzle soon.

Why do I desire it? It will just suggest more wetness. There's lightning far but no thunder. Keeping an eye out the window I can see it, a glimmer, like the phosphorescence you get in stirred seawater, behind the sky, which is overcast and too low and a dull gray infrared. The searchlights are off, which is not usual. A power failure. Otherwise, Serena Joy has organized it." (Pg.. 243)

* Similes
* Described the environment
* Room: Glimmer in the window, like stirred seawater
* Heat: Used oven
* Weather: Lightning but no thunder

2. Offred describing the Particicution of a man convicted of rape “There's a surge forward, like a crowd at a rock concert in the former time, when the doors opened, that urgency coming like a wave through us. The air is bright with adrenaline, we are permitted anything and this is freedom, in my body also, I'm reeling, red spreads everywhere, but before that tide of cloth and bodies hits him Ofglen is shoving through the women in front of us, propelling herself with her elbows, left, right, and running towards him.

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..A high scream comes from somewhere, like a horse in terror.” (Pg. 262-263)

* Simile and metaphor

* Ofglen kicked his head several times and later explained to Offred that the man was part of the underground rebellion, so she wanted to put him out of his misery quickly.

Updated: Mar 29, 2023
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Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale. (2016, Nov 10). Retrieved from

Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale essay
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