Symbols usually consist of objects, characters, or figures expressing a larger concept or idea. In 1984, symbols find themselves in many main ideas and themes. Some symbols are used to represent a deeper meaning in characters and plot, while others show comparison and contrast between ideas. Several of these symbols are clearly shown throughout the book, catching the attention of the reader to further the understanding of the battling themes. Sometimes, words do not come close to describing what is going on.
One of the largest symbols in this book is the overall idea of Big Brother. Everywhere the main character, Winston, goes he sees posters of Big Brother. The image itself is a representation of how he is always watching and seems to have power over all. A brother is thought of as protective and overseeing. This is what Big Brother is pushing to the people, that he is a safeguard but is also always watching. It is apparent in some characters that Big Brother leaves a one-sided perspective on people. They are either for it or against it. These posters try to create a balance in the viewer’s mind between safety and security. This use of propaganda shows the mysterious yet powerful force that the people should not mess with. The mystery of who this “Big Brother” is seems to wander through Winston’s thoughts, as directed by the poster.
There was more to the paperweight that Winston purchased than just to hold paper down. This was a symbol for the past and his attempt to retrieve it. The paperweight is holding down his memories and want to go back to how it used to be. A big part of symbolism is taking ordinary, everyday things and translating them as larger ideas to the reader. The paperweight is nothing shy of an ordinary ite...
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... and figure shows another aspect of the hopelessness of the people and the power of the government. Symbols are not essential to completing the idea and story, but they add to the experience and knowledge gained from the novel. Each symbol is a different perspective added to the overall story and theme. Each of the characters are given a deeper meaning by the symbols and their intentions are more visible to the reader. If it weren’t for these symbols, the reader may have been left out on what the character was feeling or thinking about besides what is said in black and white. There are many more symbols found in this book but these show the main points and ideas more clearly than others. 1984 not only provides insight into the main story with characters but also gives a larger look at what is going on behind the scenes and what is affecting the characters themselves.
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