Significance of the Paperweight Essay

July 26, 2017 General Studies

In the haunting fresh 1984. George Orwell efficaciously warns his readers about the dangers of dictatorship and the horrific measures authoritiess are willing to take in order to prolong power over its people. In order to make the coveted consequence and transfuse panic among his readers. Orwell wove a powerful narrative that can be lauded as a literary chef-d’oeuvre. His work abounds in literary devices that serve to enrich the text and give the plot line more deepness. Of these devices. symbolism is possibly the most efficaciously employed.

Orwell utilizes a assortment of different symbols in order to transport out different maps such as the prefiguration of different events. development of the scene. creative activity of the drab temper. unveiling of the true natures of the characters. debut to and support of subjects. and so away. He uses a huge array of symbols such as an old journal. a purportedly dissident book. an idyllic landscape known as the ‘Golden Country’ . a picture of a church. the technologically advanced telecasting and surveillance tool known as the ‘telescreen’ . a cantabile thrush. and most significantly. a glass paperweight.

The paperweight is the individual most important symbol in the narrative because unlike the other symbols. it embodies all the literary facets of the novel and combines the thoughts and maps of all the other symbols. Every symbol mentioned in the text has its significance and plays some kind of literary function. The old diary Winston writes in introduces the struggle of the novel since it reflects Winston’s interior desire to seek for truth and verify his saneness.

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The journal besides characterizes Winston’s rebellious nature and gives more deepness to his character since it reflects on his inner most ideas. Goldstein’s book represents false hope and the thoughts expressed in it reinforce the subject of dictatorship. The Aureate State represents Winston’s thought of a Utopian scene where freedom exists and this serves as a contrast to the current scene. therefore amplifying its dystopia. The picture of the church besides represents freedom and the idyllic yesteryear and the baby’s room rime associated with it foreshadows the ruin of Winston and Julia.

On the other manus. the technologically advanced surveillance tools known as ‘telescreens’ represent the extent of power and influence the authorities has over its society and this reinforces the subject of dictatorship. Furthermore. the thrush depicts Winston’s interior desire to show himself and his yearning to be free. Overall. all these different symbols have a literary map of some kind whether it is presenting the struggle. qualifying the characters. developing the scene. or reenforcing the subjects.

Although all the symbols mentioned supra may play a certain function in modeling the novel. the paperweight is the most effectual. In the novel. Winston buys the glass paperweight when he wanders through an old-timer store. His attending is caught by its beauty and he pays $ 4. 00 for it. He describes it as: “a heavy ball of glass. curved on one side. level on the other. doing about a hemisphere. There was a curious softness. as of rainwater. in both the colour and the texture of the glass. At the bosom of it. magnified by the curving surface. there was a unusual. pink. convoluted object that recalled a rose or a sea anemone” ( 95 ) .

The store proprietor so informs Winston that the pink object at the bosom of the glass is a coral and he remarks on the rareness of such an object. What entreaties to Winston the most about the paperweight is “the air it seemed to possess of belonging to an age rather different from the present one” ( 96 ) . He finds it even more attractive because of its evident inutility and the fact that it could be beautiful for the interest of being beautiful. This paperweight represents the idyllic yesteryear where beauty existed and the fact that non everything had to be utile in order to be appreciated.

This sets the contrast between the current scene of the novel and the past. therefore amplifying the current boringness. In add-on. the fact that Mr. Charrington comments that non so many people would appreciate the beauty of the paperweight nowadays implies that the current society has a dismissive position on beautiful things. particularly things that do non look to function a peculiar intent. The people’s deficiency of grasp for beauty depicts the importance the society topographic points on utilitarianism. Since the coral represents the yesteryear. this deficiency of grasp besides portrays the society’s weakening association with the yesteryear.

Furthermore. the rareness of the coral and the fact that Winston views it as a symbol for his relationship with Julia imply that such a relationship in the Oceanic society is really rare and no longer appreciated. Unlike the ‘Golden Country’ and the picture of the church. non merely does the paperweight represent the beauty of the past. but it besides portrays the society’s weakening connexion to the past and its dismissive position on both beauty and relationships. The paperweight besides presents the struggle of the novel. which is Winston’s despairing battle to detect the truth and his effort to arise against the authorities.

The coral in the centre represents rareness and the fact that it is embedded in the glass and can non be touched depicts Winston’s job: he wants to cognize the past and reconnect to it. but excessively many obstructions surround it. forestalling him entree. Furthermore. when Winston sees Julia outside the old-timers shop and he visualizes oppressing her with the paperweight. this portrays his desire to arise against the authorities and destruct it with the yesteryear: “He could maintain on her path boulder clay they were in some quiet topographic point. and so nail her skull in with a sett. The piece of glass in his pocket would be heavy plenty for the job” ( 102 ) .

Although the journal besides represents the struggle of the novel. the paperweight presents the issue with more deepness. The diary merely reveals Winston’s desire to seek for truth and Rebel against the authorities. but the paperweight presents the trouble of his chase of truth and his effort to arise against the authorities through utilizing the yesteryear. The paperweight plays a important function in developing Winston’s character and his relationship with Julia. Winston’s grasp for the paperweight reflects his grasp of beauty and his despairing desire to reconnect with the yesteryear.

When the glass paperweight provides the scene for one of his dreams about his female parent. it indicates Winston’s association of love with the yesteryear. which explains his yearning for past relationships and attitudes. Furthermore. the fact that Winston buys the paperweight despite the fact that such an act would elicit intuition represents his rebellious nature. Furthermore. when Winston views the coral inside the paperweight as a symbol for his relationship with Julia “fixed in a kind of infinity at the bosom of the crystal. ” his romantic nature is unveiled because the construct of ‘eternity’ does non be in 1984.

This foolish idealistic nature is reinforced when he gazes into the bosom of the paperweight “with the feeling that it would be possible to acquire inside that glassy universe and that one time inside it clip could be arrested. Their fortune would keep indefinitely. and they would transport on their machination. merely like this. for the balance of their natural lives” ( 151 ) . This perceptual experience besides depicts the marriage-like bond between Winston and Julia and how their relationship embodies past relationships that no longer exist.

However. the fact that the paperweight is made out of glass portrays the breakability of the relationship due to the fact that it exists in a society devoid of such dealingss. The paperweight foreshadows the couple’s ruin and the loss of their love towards one another. The ruin of the twosome is foreshadowed in several different ways throughout the novel ; nevertheless. the paperweight is the lone symbol that foreshadows both their ruin and the devastation of their bond. This can be seen when the paperweight clangs and the coral is lost: “The garment of coral. a bantam wrinkle of pink like a sugar rosebud from a bar. rolled across the mat.

How little. thought Winston. how little it ever was! ” ( 223 ) . The fact that the coral is much smaller than Winston had anticipated implies that his relationship with Julia is non as strong and powerful as he had imagined. Winston ab initio believes that his relationship with Julia is rather strong and he informs O’Brien that he would ne’er bewray Julia. The relationship fills him with hope and he believes that like the coral. the relationship is “fixed in a kind of eternity” ( 147 ) . However. since Winston’s perceptual experiences are normally dry. this excessively optimistic position foreshadows that the relationship will finally stop.

Furthermore. the fact that the paperweight is made out of glass reflects on the breakability of the relationship and foreshadows its devastation. This is seen when both Julia and Winston betray each other once they are captured and their ties are therefore everlastingly lost merely as the paperweight had foreshadowed. Among the legion symbols mentioned in the novel. the glass paperweight is possibly the most important. Not merely does it unite all the maps of the other symbols. but it besides presents all the literary facets of the novel and provides each one of these facets with great deepness.

It delineates the current scene of the novel and provides the reader with an insightful position on both Winston’s character and his relationship with Julia. The paperweight besides serves to show the struggle of the novel and reinforces all the subjects introduced by the other symbols. Therefore. the paperweight is the most indispensable literary device utilized by Orwell and in the absence of such a device. 1984 would non hold attained its current imminency and impact on its audience. Bibliography:1984 – George Orwell.


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