tulips-red.jpgIn a Canadian novel A Handmaid’s Tale Margaret Atwood uses flowers symbolically in reference to women. Flowers are used as symbols as control and life.The Wives garden in order to have control and power over something: “ The garden, which is large and tidy…the flower border in which daffodils are now fading and tulips are opening their cups, spilling out color. The tulips are red, a darker crimson towards the stem, as if they have been cut and are beginning to heal there” (12). The Wives spen a lot of time tending to their gardens : “ This garden is the domain of the commander’s Wife…many Wives have such gardens, it’s something for them to order and maintain and care for” (12). The Wives garden because it is one of the few things they can control for on their own The first thing Offred can bring herself to steal from Serena Joy is a flower: “ I want to steal something…something that will not be missed… a magic flower. A withered daffodil” (97). The act of stealing is symbolic of control over one’s owns actions. Serena Joy takes a bizarre pleasure in mutilating flowers. When Offred seeing her chopping the flowers ackwardly, she wonders, “ was it…some kamikaze, committed on the swelling genitalita of the flowers? The fruiting body.” These attacks Serena Joy desires to make on the Handmaids, who can be seen as a flower living in the house, the Handmaid’s are fertile in this society.Flowers are symbolic reminders of fertility. The flowers surrounding the house are a substitute for the lack of human life, birth, and social interaction. The flowers growing can be seen as a substitute for a child growing. Many women lack fertility in this society.