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What is the significance of the paperweight in Chapter 10 of Part 2?

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ohsnapsonbrit | Student, Grade 10 | eNoter

Posted October 29, 2007 at 5:36 AM via web

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What is the significance of the paperweight in Chapter 10 of Part 2?

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amy-lepore | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted October 29, 2007 at 5:44 AM (Answer #1)

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The paperweight is something from the world before the Party.  It represents that other world, and it also represents the beauty of the love Julia and Winston have found even though love is forbidden in Oceania.  The paperweight is delicate, and clear glass except for the coral in the center.  Like Winston and Julia's love life, the coral is obvious and clearly visible from all sides.  The couple were "loving" in a fishbowl so to speak, and they did not realize they were so vulnerable and obvious.  When the thought police come to the apartment to take them in for questioning, one of the police throws the paperweight across the room and it shatters into tiny shards of what it once was.  This foreshadows what will become of Winston and Julia's relationship.

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clane | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator

Posted October 29, 2007 at 11:20 AM (Answer #2)

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Not only does it foreshadow what is to come, but Winston looks at the tiny piece of coral that is lying the the floor and he thinks to himself how the beauty of it has somehow been lost now that it isn't surrounded by glass. He thinks to himself how small it looks without the glass to magnify it. This also represents or symbolizes how minute their love for one another is and what they were trying to do in comparison to the Party which is too large and powerful ever to stop. They believed that the acts they were committing against the Party would somehow lead to its eventual downfall, they felt powerful (like the paperweight in its glory). They find out as the book transitions to its 3rd part how small they actually are (just like the piece of coral that has lost its luster).

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parama9000 | Student, Grade 11 | Valedictorian

Posted February 24, 2014 at 10:53 AM (Answer #3)

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It symbolizes the little acts of rebellion by Winston and Julia against Big Brother. They feel their actions, however small, were big and could and would cause the downfall of Big Brother. However, from a larger perspective, and after a certain period of time, they realize the significance of their acts are small and not very effective at all.

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