Essay on Paperweight in '1984'

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First of all, it should be noted that despite many differences, the 1956 film adaptation remained true, faithful to the main ideas and themes of the original story. In the 1956 film adaptation, we have a dark scene with cold colors. Thus, black, grey, and white are the dominant colors. (There is a monochromatic scheme). Moreover, the lighting of the scene is in chiaroscuro. This accentuates the dark side of the novel. Therefore, a dramatic, gloomy, bleak, and scary atmosphere is created. These colors are very significant because they represent this gray, dull, dark world that reigns an oppressive atmosphere, fear, in which the government controls its citizens. We can see at the beginning that the posters are white, which shows that no one can find hope in someone other than Big Brother. According to me, black can also refer to the opposition to the established order. Thus, Winston rebels against the party by buying the paperweight.

Also, at the beginning of the scene, we hear non-diegetic background music, the tone is dark and then the music stops completely when Winston enters the store and talks with the character. The lack of music gives a dark effect to the scene, boring. Then, once out of the store, the music starts again, the rhythm of the music speeds up, it goes faster and faster, and the tone becomes darker creating an effect of worry, of fear wondering what will happen. The music is stressful and gives the spectators shivers and chills. With the colors, it gives the impression that Winston is going to be sentenced to death. The music is dramatic. Both the film and the book are 'cold'.

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We can observe that when Winston comes down the stairs, he is frightened and surprised to see Julie (besides he says nothing), and he forgets his paperweight that he bought, while in the novel as soon as he buys it he puts it in his pocket. Thus, the glass paperweight symbolizes the past, and Winston wants to reconnect with the past, giving him hope. Shockingly enough, he forgets it; however, by forgetting it, the filmmaker gives us the impression that he is rejecting Winston's sensibility, which is gripped by fear, this hope, this nostalgia for a past is omitted, neglected. The clipboard does not seem as important as in the novel. Similarly, the nursery rhyme about St. Clement's Church is not present in the film. The passage where Winston is stopped by the thought police is not present in the original novel. The characters are the same in the film as in the book. The camera pans back and forth between Winston and the black-haired girl, giving the impression that it is spying on Winston. Also, the black-haired girl enters the store and then talks with the store owner. Could they be spying on Winston?

Finally, both of them project the viewers and the readers into a dark, dramatic universe (with the choice of colors, and music)

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Essay on Paperweight in ‘1984’. (2024, May 20). Edubirdie. Retrieved June 16, 2024, from
“Essay on Paperweight in ‘1984’.” Edubirdie, 20 May 2024,
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Essay on Paperweight in ‘1984’ [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2024 May 20 [cited 2024 Jun 16]. Available from:

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