One of the major symbols in 1984 is the paperweight that Winston purchases from Mr. Charrington. Winston clings to it because it symbolizes a connection with the past, proof that beauty existed at one time or another. The symbolism is enhanced by the very nature of the object: the coral contained within the cloudy glass cannot be touched, just as Winston cannot reach out and touch the solid history through the somewhat transparent, semi-reliable veneer of his own memory. When the paperweight is crushed by the Thought Police, Winston remarks about the coral contained therein “How small… how small it always ways!” (Orwell 184) Once the coral’s transparent shield was removed, it seemed small and insignificant. Allegorically, this represents how The Party can control the abstract past by manipulating the concrete record of it. Once Oceanian society has destroyed historical records, the abstract past at its core exists only in one’s memory and is of little significance to The Party. Orwell uses... [continues]
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