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1984-theme: The glass paperweight and St.Clement's

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by

Marline Estell

on 5 May 2011

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Transcript of 1984-theme: The glass paperweight and St.Clement's

The Glass Paperweight "There was a peculiar softness, as of rainwater, in both the color and the texture of the glass. At the heart of it, magnified by the curved surface, there was a strange, pink, convoluted object that racalled a rose or a sea anemone...'That wasn't made less than a hundred years ago...'It's a beautiful thing,' said Winston. The glass is a beautiful object which is a rare finding in INGSOC society. As mentioned in the quote, the paperweight is at least a hundred years old. "And when memory failed and written records were falsified-when that happened, the claim of the party to have improved the conditions of human life had got to be accepted, because there did not exist, and never again could exist, any standard against which it could be tested." winston was interested in the glass paperweight because the paperweight was a sort of "standard" that tested the accountability of the party. according to the party, there is no such thing as "beautiful".
the beauty and the simplness of the glass paperweight goes against party ideals. and reassures Winston that he does indeed have a purpose to his rebellion against the party. St. Clement's "Oranges and lemons, say the bells of St. Clement's" Mr.Charrington show Winston the painting of the old church called St. Clement's Dane. Winston remember's the church, because it is in ruins right outside of the Palace of Justice.
this is ironic that a church in ruins is in front of a building labeled as a place of "justice" Mr.Charrington only remebers the first and last lines of the poem about the london churches:
"Oranges and lemons, say the bells of St. Clement's...Here comes a candle to light you to bed, Here comes a chopper to chop off your head." "They held out their arms for you to pass under, and when they came to 'Here comes a chopper to chop off your head' they brought their arms down and cought you."
this forshadows to the moment when Winston and Julia are caught by Mr.Charrington in book 2- Mr.Charrington says the last line of the rhyme All throughout the novel Winston tries to learn
more of the poem "It was curious, but when you said it to yourself you had the illusion of actually hearing bells, the bells of a lost London that still existed somewhere or other, disguised and forgotten." That rhyme connected Winston to the past; therefore he made it his ambition to learn the rest of it. Winston put the glass paperweight in the room that he and Julia
had their affair at- Mr.Charringonton's shop. Once again the paperweight represents the beauty in rebelling against the party
as demonstrated by their love affair "Of all the crimes that a party membor could commit, this one was the least possible to conceal. Actually the idea had first floated into his head in the form of a vision of the glass paperweight mirrored by the surface of the gateleg table" Winston learns more of the peom from Julia:
"When will you pay me? say the bells of Old Bailey"
Julia also remembers the last line- "chop off your head" Julia heard the peom from her grandfather who was vaporized.
connection to the past = vaporization Julia wonders what lemons are:
"I wonder what a lemon was...I've seen oranges. They're a kind of round yellow fruit with a thick skin"
her description of an orange is wrong; she descriced a lemon; representing the distortion of facts from INGSOC society "Oranges and Lemons, say the bells of St. Clements, You owe me three farthings, say the bells of St. Martin's, When will you pay me? say the bells of Old Bailey, When i grow rich say the bells of Shoreditch." O'Brien completed the peom and thus gained Winston's absolute trust, because he fulfilled Winston's wanting to connect to the past. "There was a snap as though a catch had been turned back, and a crash of breaking glass. The picture has fallen to the floor, uncovering the telescreen behind it." There was a telescreen behind picture of St. Clement's.
This represents the party's power over history.
an atempt to uncover history= an violation and threat against INGSOC
"There was another crash. Someone had picked up the glass paperweight from the table and smashed it to pieces on the hearthstone...how small, though Winston, how small it always was!" The broken paperweight= Winston's broken hopes
"how small it always was" = Winston's realization that his hopes to change INSOC society was always small and unreasonable
his small hopes were enlarged, because of the beauty of the idea- like the beauty of the glass paperweight made the object seem so large and invincible
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