1984

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The Glass Paperweight Symbol Analysis

The Glass Paperweight Symbol Icon
The old glass paperweight sold to Winston by Mr. Charrington represents the past. The level of craftsmanship required to make it is no longer achievable, since production standards have dropped and the Party has abolished beauty for its own sake. The tiny fragment of coral embedded in the paperweight represents the fragility of human relationships, particularly the bond between Julia and Winston, which is destroyed by O'Brien as easily and remorselessly as the paperweight is smashed by the Thought Police. The paperweight also symbolizes the room in Mr. Charrington's house that becomes a private sanctuary for the lovers, imagined by Winston as a separate world, frozen in time.
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The Glass Paperweight Symbol Timeline in 1984

The timeline below shows where the symbol The Glass Paperweight appears in 1984. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Book 1, Chapter 8
The Individual vs. Collective Identity Theme Icon
Reality Control Theme Icon
...bought the diary. The owner, an intelligent prole named Mr. Charrington, shows him a glass paperweight with a piece of coral inside, which Winston buys, and a print of an old... (full context)
Book 2, Chapter 4
The Individual vs. Collective Identity Theme Icon
Sex, Love, and Loyalty Theme Icon
...it another day. As they ready to leave the room, Winston gazes into the glass paperweight, imagining that it is the room they are in, and that the coral inside is... (full context)