In this essay on ‘1984’ by George Orwell I am going to give an analysis of the pages 72 until page 77. In this extract Winston, the main character of the book, visits Mr. Charrington’s shop. This is not an usual shop, because in this shop there are things for sale that you wouldn’t find anywhere else. Here there are things for sale that come from the past, thus forbidden things by the Party and Big Brother. The objects in the shop make Winston experience a sense of the past. Winston looks through the collection of stuff stored in the shop.
The first remarkable thing Winston comes across, is a piece of glass with an unfamiliar object in it. It turns out to be a piece of coral that is embedded in a lump of glass. Winston is fascinated by it and decides to buy it. The things that appealed to him about the coral more that its beauty, was the air it seemed to posses of belonging to an age quite different from the present one and it was doubly attractive because of it apparent uselessness, though Winston was guessing that it once must have been intended as a paperweight.
Then the shopkeeper takes Winston upstairs, to another room. There the room awakens in Winston a sort of nostalgia, a kind of ancestral memory. This is due to the fact that the room is arranged in a very cozy way: there was a strip of carpet on the floor, a picture or two on the walls, and a deep, slatternly armchair drawn up to the fireplace. An old-fashioned glass clock with a twelve-hour face was ticking away on the mantelpiece. Under the window, and occupying nearly a quarter of the room, was a enormous mahogany bed with the mattress still on it.
Everything gave the impression that the room was meant to be lived in. And to Winston it seemed that he knew exactly how it must feel like to sit in a room like this. He imagined that it would be very nice to sit in the armchair beside the open fire with his feet in the fender and a kettle on the hob. He would be very at easy and utterly alone, and also utterly secure because nobody would be watching him, no voice would be pursuing him.
In fact, because of the absence of the television screen in the room there would be no sound at all except the singing of the kettle and the friendly ticking of the clock. While examining the room further Winston also spots a picture in a rosewood frame of a vaguely familiar building. The recalls it being bombed somewhere in the past. Mr. Charrington tells him that it used to be a church at one time. St. Clement’s Dane its name was. Then the shop owner starts to sing a little rhyme from his childhood about churches. After a few lines he stops because his memory fails him.
He desperately tries to remember it and keeps trying to finish the song. Lingering, Winston talked to Mr. Charrington some more, not wanting to leave just yet. All that time the half-remembered rhyme kept running through Winston’s head and he even got the illusion of actually hearing the bells of the churches. The bells from a London that belonged to the forgotten past. Again a sense of nostalgia came over Winston. The curious thing was that as far as Winston could remember he had never in real life heard church bells ringing.