A woman’s power and privileges depend on which societal class she is in. In Margaret Atwood’s novel The Handmaid’s Tale each group of women are each represented in a different way. The three classes of women from the novel are the Handmaids, the Marthas and the Wives. The ways in which the women are portrayed reflect their societal power and their privileges that they bestow.
A woman’s color of clothing that she wears reflects her social class status and what she is capable of. If a woman is able to have sex freely, or at all, is also dependent on her class. A women’s role in the dystopian society is also based on her class. Both of these factors reflect her power and privileges.
The role of a woman in this society is entirely dependent upon the color of cloths that she wears. The women will get this color for a specific reason. If a woman is able to reproduce she will become a Handmaid. The Handmaids exist because the Wives are physically unable to have a child of their own. The Handmaid’s position is to reproduce for the Commander and his wife, so that they can have a family together. A woman will become a Martha if she is unable to reproduce. The Martha’s job is to look after the families. She has to care for the family, protect them, and to comfort them at all times. The Wives job is to essentially have her family. The wife is to make sure the Handmaid has her child and she is to be calm and peaceful. A woman would become one of the Wives if she was already married to her husband before the laws in their society changed.
The color of clothing that the women wear is an important element because it helps to show the women’s power and privileges. The color of clothing a woman wears reflects how much freedom she will have. The Handmaids wear red. The red symbolizes fertility, passion, and blood. The Handmaids are the women who have sex with the Commanders, the husbands of the wives and the Handmaids have their baby. The Marthas wear a dull green that symbolizes comfort, and protection. “There are other women with baskets, some in red, some in the dull green of the Marthas…” (27) This shows how the women are marginalized by the color of their clothing. The Marthas are the servants. They are the women that will take care...