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Thread: Winton's Paperweight

  1. #1

    Winton's Paperweight

    Is the paperweight Winston bought from Mr. Charrington a symbol in the novel? Orwell just introduced it in the beginning of Book 2. I haven't read much since the paperweight has been mentioned, but I feel there is some significance to it. Or am i wrong?

  2. #2
    Registered User Geesta's Avatar
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    Nov 2009
    The paperweight is having to do with the past. Since Winston bought it in an antique shop, it is obviously from the past, and this greatly interests Winston, because he wants to know what happened before, and if people in the past were actually better off then they are now. The paperweight almost acts as a window into the past, as many times Winston imagines himself inside of it, and everything being how it use to, or how he imagined that things use to be like. I don't think that this is meant to be a symbol, as much as something that keeps Winston hoping, hoping that he will someday know what things use to be like.

  3. #3
    The paper weight isn't a major significance in the book. But just as the rhyme of oranges and lemons Winston so much appreciates, it is one of the few genuine connections or remembrances to the past people can still have without it being tampered with by the Party.
    "I am always doing that which I can not do, in order that I may learn how to do it"

  4. #4
    Orwellian The Atheist's Avatar
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    Where's Bazarov when you need him?

    The paperweight is the only physical proof of the past.

  5. #5
    Ataraxia bazarov's Avatar
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  6. #6
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    The paperweight is a HUGE symbol in the novel!!

    First, it is something from the past, something beautiful in a world without beauty. Second, it is useless now, since no paper is kept--everything goes into a memory hole. Useless items are not valued in Oceania. Third, Winston and Julia comment that their life in the upstairs room is like the coral in the paperweight: safe and protected by all the glass, preserved and beautiful. Fourth, when the Thought Police raid the room, one of the men smashes the paperweight, symbolizing the shattering of their life together. Fifth, once it is smashed, the coral is very tiny, symbolizing how insignificant Winston and Julia are in the great scheme of Ingsoc.

  7. #7
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    The paperweight it physical living proof of the past.

    To winston he sees the coral as Himself and Julia. Just a small piece of coral held in place by the protective dome of glass, Which I think symbolizes their seeming prtoection from the party, which was their ability to fool the party.

    Through the glass the coral looks magnified, just as He and julia thought they were larger than they actually were. They thought they were outsmarting the party, but in reality the Party had been watching them the whole time, and planning to get them the whole time.

    When the glass was broken, Winston realized just how small the piece of coral actually was. How small HE actually was once his glass was broken.

  8. #8
    the paperweight represents the room it's impenetrable.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by tokool4puppets View Post
    the paperweight represents the room it's impenetrable.
    You took the words right out of my mouth!

    Yes, the paperweight symbolizes the room Winston, Julia and Mr. Charrington are in. The glass is impenetrable just as the walls of the room are. Also, the fact that there are no telescreens in this room aid its impenetrability.

    I may be wrong in my interpretation of this, but I see the coral inside the paperweight as if it's meant to represent Winston, Julia and Mr. Charrington, or just people inside the impenetrable fortress in general. The fact that nothing can get inside the glass shows how the room is really a sanctuary for those that wish to escape the rule of Big Brother.

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