Symbolic interpretation of 1984
1984 is a revolutionary political novel written by George Orwell which conveys many significant messages to the society. Although written in 1949, the story portrays the possible future of a society if suppressed by the totalitarianism of a government. The novel progresses through the process of a totalitarian governing body and how they change a country’s social, economic and behavioral pattern, but it is a highly symbolic novel. The list of symbols is exhaustive and has multiple interpretations. Here are some of the symbols discussed below.
Glass paperweight symbolizes the human nature to connect to the past.These items are remnants of the past and Winston was fascinated about these items to get him connected with the thought of some immutable past and their real existence which was totally destroyed during the ruling of the totalitarian government. The glass paperweight is a symbol of hope as well, so at the end when the party comes in and arrest Winston and Julia, it indicates loss of freedom and hope.
The coral inside the glass paperweight is a representation of Winston and Julia and their hope. As the Coral looks big in the glass so as they think they are safe and free inside the apartment. But when the glass shatters they discover the tininess of the coral which symbolizes how insignificant they truly are when compared to the power of the party.
Old picture of St Clements’s church which Winston places the in front of the telescreen in his rented room hides the telescreen which is in use to spy on his activity by the Party. So here the picture depicts a notion of freedom.
The red-armed prole woman is a symbol of hope and freedom. Her singing demonstrates the individual’s undefeated inner spirit within the “proles”. Her tireless laundry working shows her physical strength. These signs convince Winston and Julia to consider this woman as a beautiful source of future hope who can give birth to future generation rebel who can overtake the ongoing party’s rule.
Big Brother represents a totalitarian government or party. Its ruling style indicates a loss of civilization and symbolizes threat in the society. They set specific rules to the society and controls people emotionally as well physically. The messages everywhere “BIG BROTHER IS WATCHING YOU” clearly indicates the complete intrusion in human’s privacy in life. They are the symbol of vagueness.