Oppression from the government leads people to rebel. In George Orwell’s 1984, main characters, Julia and Winston, experience this first hand. The totalitarian society that they live in tries to corrupt them but proves unsuccessful. Throughout the novel, Julia and Winston encounter challenges that bring to the surface some symbols that represent the past, the injustice from the government, and the rebellion against the Party.
The glass paper weight that Winston purchases in Mr. Charrington’s shop represents the perfect world that no longer exists. This symbol of the past impersonates a time before Big Brother and Thought Police, where the government did not interfere so heavily in the lives of the citizens. Winston dreams that him and Julia will someday live in a world as secluded as the one in the paper weight where their love can thrive. The interference from the Party has ruined all chances of them ever living a happy life together but the paperweight symbolizes the love that they could have shared together in the past. In addition to representing the love between Winston and Julia, the paperweight also represents rebellion. The Party bans anything pleasurable because they view it as dangerous. By purchasing the paper weight and dreaming of a better place for him and Julia, Winston indirectly opposes the views of the Party and rebels.
Similarly to the paperweight, the painting of St. Clement’s church represent the past. It stands for the good days that were common before the war and oppression from the Party. The hidden painting, located in the secret room above Mr. Charrington’s shop, also gives Winston a feeling of rebellion. When he looks at the painting or recites the rhyme about the church, he knows that...
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...to give off the appearance that she is loyal to the Party but in reality she secretly rebels and frequently engages in sexual activity. Winston admires this secret rebellion and finds that it makes Julia more attractive. This secret defiance still fails to compare to the strong love that Julia and Winston share. When Julia rips off her sash for the first time, this represents the new found trust she has in Winston. By taking off the sash, she shows Winston that they share passion for the same beliefs and that they have to trust each other because they are alone in this situation.
In conclusion, the oppression from the Party, rebellion, and the preservation of the past are represented through the use of many symbols. The totalitarian society that the Party created forces Julia and Winston to reminisce on the past and dream of a way to escape the society they live in.
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