what does the coral paperweight represent ?

he buys the coral paperweight in the prole's antique shop

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The coral paperweight is something old belonging to a time before the revolution. Thus it is a tangible connection to the past which Winston craves. It also comes to symbolize the little room in which Julia and Winston think is an oasis from Big Brother and the party, a little bubble that exists on its own. They of course are never on their own and when the thought police brutally invade their fantasy bubble, the paperweight is smashed to pieces, their world is symbolically and literally crushed.

The first thing that the paperweight symbolizes is Winston’s hopes and dreams of his time with Julia. He got the paperweight early in his relationship/affair with Julia because it was in his words “very old” and “very beautiful”. This symbolizes hope in a way- he wants life to be back the way it was before the party. He felt that the world before the party was old and perfect and his being with Julia is beautiful so he believes that if the paperweight is together and whole than there is the chance that the world will change back to what it was and that Julia and he will still be together in that future. When the thought police rush into the room that the paperweight was in they broke it, they also separated Winston and Julia. This shows that when the thing that Winston puts his hopes into shatters his hopes shatter because when they come into the room Winston and Julia never are to be together again and Winston’s hopes were put into the paperweight as the future being how the past truly was but he wants to be with Julia in that future. If he cannot be with Julia in that future than there is no point in him having that hope so he just gives it up.