what does the coral paperweight represent ?
he buys the coral paperweight in the prole's antique shop
he buys the coral paperweight in the prole's antique shop
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.
The glass paperweight symbolizes Winston's hope. Winston Smith is obsessed with how the world used to be before Big Brother took over. He takes chances he shouldn't in an attempt to change the future he knows he will never see because he wants things to go back to the way they were. The paperweight was discovered by Winston in Mr. Charrington's shop and he marveled over it and purchased it for a fair amount even though it was a compromising possession. In this scene, we learn this is the same shop in which Winston had purchased his diary, another compromising possession, and we see Winston and Mr. Charrington develop a bond because Mr. Charrington has what Winston desires, memories of a different time: a time before Big Brother, a time before opression, a time of freedom. Winston loves the paperweight because he longs for that long lost time.
The paperweight, a piece of coral suspended in glass, was purchased just before Winston spotted Julia following him. He considered murdering her with it, but decided against it. Later, when he rents the room from Mr. Charrington to share with Julia, he admires the beauty of the paperweight again. It is a useless item that brings him joy because of its ties to the past. However, it is just like his relationship with Julia in that it is beautiful, meaningless, and completely against the rules. Then, when the Thought Police enter the room to arrest them both, the paperweight is knocked from the bedside table to the floor where it shatters and Winston realizes just how small that piece of coral really was. Winston's time of freedom and enjoying the lifestyle of the past was small and fleeting just like the coral and its place of sanctuary, the safety of the room for Winston and the glass for the coral, were completely destroyed leaving nothing but despair.
The paperweight symbolizes Winston's hope. Hope is a rare thing in 1984 and, if it can be found, it is beaten out of its people in the Ministry of Truth because people with hope are hard to control. When Winston discovered the paperweight, he discovered his first glimpse of the past and he began to hope for a life of freedom with Julia. The coral looked large when it was magnified by the glass surrounding it just as Winston imagined this grand future. However, when the paperweight was destroyed, he found the coral to be quite small, just as his time with Julia had been. When the coral was destroyed just as the Thought Police entered the room, so were Winston's hopes. The shattering of that glass with it shattered Winston's hopes of freedom, of rebellion, and of having any sort of normal life. Orwell made the glass paperweight the perfect symbol for his character and introduced it at key points in the story. It is a visual representation of Winston's shattered hopes that should inspire all readers to fight for freedom.