In George Orwell’s “1984,” the paperweight is a symbol of Winston Smith’s longing for a connection to the past and his aspirations for a better future. It is a small, coral-colored object that Winston buys from an antique shop in the prole district. The paperweight is described as a heavy, curved glass hemisphere. It becomes a significant symbol of Winston’s fight against the totalitarian government of Oceania. To Winston, it stands for the past he yearns for and his wish for a connection to a world that existed before the Party’s rise to power. The paperweight also symbolizes Winston’s hopes for the future, as it contains a small piece of coral that existed before Christianity and Napoleon. Additionally, the paperweight serves as a metaphor for Winston’s own life, which is fragile and easily broken under the Party’s oppressive rule. The paperweight’s destruction, as well as Winston’s eventual arrest and torture, signify the futility of resistance against a totalitarian government. Moreover, the paperweight can be seen as a symbol of Winston’s desire to maintain his identity and individuality in a society that seeks to erase both. The contrast between the unchanging glass and the changing coral reflects Winston’s own wish to keep his sense of self and identity, even as the world around him changes and deteriorates.
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