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.
The paperweight represent Winston hopes and idea of overthrowing the party. The paper weight is a glass ball with a piece of coral in it. At first glance Winston notices how large the piece of coral appears, and how much beauty is stored inside the glass. The coral represents his hoes and dreams themselves, while the glass surround the coral represents his and Julia's relationship. The relationship magnifies his hopes of overthrowing the party, and make him believe it is possible do to so. The relationship just makes him want to rebel more. When Julia and him are caught the thought police shatter the paper wight, and Winston realize how small the coral was, and figured out that the glass only made it appear large, just as his rebellion was magnified by the relationship he held with Julia. Winston finally realized how irrational his idea were, just like he realized how small the coral was, when the things surrounding it was gone. His one action, to go against the party, wasn't going to affect anything at all. The power tha party hold is enormous. Once Winston and Julia are caught, Winston is taken to the Ministry of Love where he is to be cured( huge example of the power they hold). They use your worst fear to cure you, for Winston it was rats, the same rats he saw in the dream, and a rat like the one saw in the apartment just before being caught by the thought police.