How does the paperweight represent Winston and Julia's life together?

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Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I think that the paperweight is usually meant to symbolize Winston’s belief and yearning for pre- Party life.  Yet, I think that a case can be made for how it can be seen to represent Julia and Winston.  Initially, the paperweight is glass, almost like a prism through which different realities can be seen.  This is very close to how the relationship Julia and Winston have holds meaning in that both are able to see the other as a vessel of defiance through which their own reality outside of the Party can be created.  Julia enjoys sexual activity, though she must pretend to have disdain for it and Winston sees it as an act of political resistance.  Infact, their entire relationship is akin to the paperweight, something that is an antique and no longer in style.  The Party discourages love affairs and, similarly, the paperweight was purchased in an antique store, away from the prying eyes of others.  The paperweight is discarded and the Party discards love.  Finally, the most evident connection is that when it breaks it is symbolic of the bonds that both Winston and Julian break between one another when they are both forced to renounce the other.

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1984

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