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What is the symbolic significance of the clock, the song sung by the prole woman and...

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dotticks | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted January 26, 2010 at 7:48 PM via web

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What is the symbolic significance of the clock, the song sung by the prole woman and the nursery rhyme about the bells of St Clements?

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted January 26, 2010 at 10:57 PM (Answer #1)

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In my opinion, all of these symbolize the past.  They symbolize the world that has been lost and that Winston wishes he could get back.

The nursery rhyme reminds Winston of his childhood.  It reminds him of churches (perhaps to point out that there is no religion in the current society) and more generally of places that no longer exist. His trying to remember it is symbolic of his desire to remember things that the Party says never happened.

The song is a sentimental one -- talking about love and feelings.  These are also things the Party tries to destroy.

So these are symbols of the ways in which Winston wants the world to change -- things the Party has destroyed that he wants back.

Sorry -- forgot about the clock -- I think it's just that it is an old-fashioned one.  That's another thing that's like the old days.

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