Symbolism in 1984

Victory Gin and Victory Cigarettes:
Dissatisfied with his dull life, Winston turns to his vices to temporarily escape the bland, grey world he lives in. He drinks gin and smokes to alleviate his anxiety from having absolutely no privacy regardless of where he is.  Before writing in his journal for the first time, he downs a shot to appease his paranoia of being caught by the omnipresent Party.  However, these vices are not symbols of Winston’s own individuality or rebelliousness.  The irony is that these vices used to soothe his nerves have been allotted to him by the Party. They symbolize the unfortunate reality of the Party’s ultimate control over every aspect of the lives of Oceania’s citizens.  

Red-Armed Prole Woman:
Winston sees the red-armed prole woman as a symbol of freedom and hope for future generations.  Her singing heard through the window of his room fills Winston with the optimism that the proles, who make up the majority of the population, will eventually recognize their bleak circumstances and rebel against the Party. Winston also describes her as “beautiful” because she represents power and toughness, which indicate her aptitude to lead future generations of rebels that will overtake the Party’s rule.

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The Glass Paperweight and St. Clement’s Church:
The Party mainly attributes its power to its ability to replace people’s memories with its own version of the truth, by brainwashing the population with propaganda and party doctrine. The quote: “Who controls the past controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past” really explains this well. It is unfeasible for anyone to challenge the Party’s authority in the present when they must accept the Party’s construed history.

Winston struggles to hold onto the past by attempting to recover his memories that have been corrupted by the Party’s lies.  His purchase ...

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