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1984: The Real Truth Behind The Glass Paperweight

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James Francuz

Mrs. Elliott

English 3, Period 4

10 May 2011

1984: The Real Truth Behind the Glass Paperweight

Throughout the course of human history, man has broadened his horizons thanks to the brilliant work of genius writers. Among all the major literary elements incorporated into any novel, symbolism is undoubtedly one of the most important and influential ones. In George Orwell's noteworthy book 1984, the main character Winston Smith purchased a glass paperweight from an old junk shop which is proven to be very significant as the piece progresses. The paperweight is crucial to Winston's development as a person, and comes to resemble the past along with the present, the relationship he has with a woman, and his ultimate fate in the end.

When Winston originally saw the glass paperweight, he was fascinated by it. In fact, he revealed to the shop owner Mr. Charrington that "It's a beautiful thing" (Orwell 95) for it was likely part of a whole different era of the past before the Party existed. Although the bulky chunk of glass with a pink coral center seemed insignificant partly due to its age, Winston was intrigued by it for "it was a queer thing" (Orwell 96) that would come to show his bitter hatred of the Party and Big Brother. In thinking that he would be better suited to connect to the past if he acquired the unique antique novelty, Winston gladly purchased it for four dollars in the hope that he would have more access to the past and be able to comprehend why things are the way they are. At the heart of the paperweight, in which holds the coral, the author claimed in his novel that it was a relevant component of the past that is forgotten to be altered. Despite this belief, Winston knew that it was difficult to relate to the past for the Party consistently destroys photographs and documents, making citizens believe that regardless of how much the real truth is changed, they must believe what they say. For Winston, due to the fact that the shop was located in the prole district, the proles were depicted as the only group that had a decent shot at bringing down the Party and its ways. However, the government had complete control over its people, exemplifying that the paperweight can be seen as a symbol of freedom/hope away from it all in 1984.

The item is also referenced to symbolize the secreted relationship between Winston and a woman named Julia. The particular location in which they enjoy their affair is in the upstairs room of Mr. Charrington's shop, which is coincidental. The room is rumored to have no telescreens inside it, making it the perfect site for the couple to do whatever pleased them without getting caught. The paperweight is demonstrated by Orwell as a token of their love for one another for Julia too admired



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