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Salvador Dali’s The Persistence of Time

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  • Pages: 3
  • Word count: 574
  • Category: Dali time

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Generally when planning and making decisions time is a factor. In George Orwell’s 1984 and Salvador Dali’s painting, The Persistence of Time, time can not be relied on. The text and painting illustrate different scenarios where time can not be controlled. Despite the fact that both landscapes and environments are different they still keep people blinded as to how time is being manipulated. Thus, The Persistence of Time is a direct representation of Winston’s life in 1984. Each piece examines the effects of isolation. In the painting’s background is a deserted sand beach with a rocky knoll in the background.

The deserted beach symbolizes Winston and his isolation. Winston’s job in the Ministry of Truth is marked by isolation. Even though he surrounded by comrades there is limited interaction: no small talk, no friendships. Orwell describes Winston’s isolation through his reflections on his surroundings:  “Winston glanced across the hall. In the corresponding cubicle on the other side a small, precise-looking, dark-chinned man named Tillotson was working steadily away, [… ] Winston hardly knew Tillotson, and he had no idea what work he was employed on. ” (Orwell 41).

This quote is significant because generally people know at least a bit about co-workers but Winston’s life is so secluded from other citizens that he knows little to nothing about people he sees every day. The theme of isolation also emerges when Winston chats with Syme; “He turned round. It was his friend Syme, who worked in the Research Department. Perhaps “friend” was not exactly the right word. You did not have friends nowadays, you had comrades” (48). This quote shows how the party eliminates all relationships you can have with other people. In a physical sense Winston’s life relates to the party.

This is shown through Winston’s job. Winston’s job is in the Ministry of Truth. His job is to alter and destroy historical records. Some of his task include changing dates and times to the needs and the wants of the party. His job is like the melting clocks in the painting because he is molding dates and stories into something they are not. Winston has to live with not telling the citizens of Airstrip One that most of the news and record are fake. Winston Remembers, “On occasion he had even been entrusted with the rectification of the Times Leading Articles” (44).

Winston also relates to the painting as a whole because its is a small deserted island in a big world. Winston is a small party of a big city. Winston not only physically relates to the painting but mentally does as well. The deserted beach shows the emptiness and uncertainty inside of him. The party brainwashed all the citizens and now they are uncertain about almost everything. “A sense of complete helplessness had descended upon him. To begin with, he did not know with any certainty that this was the year 1984” (p. 7).

Winstions is also mentally affected because he does not remember his past including details about his mother. The uncertainty about the party’s truthfulness about time effects Winston. It affects the ways people process and perceive things. Winston cannot rely on time because he knows through his work how things are changed by the government. Winstons is emotionally affected by the party in 1984 and this directly relates to Salvador Dali’s painting, The Persistence of Time. As show above winston  The Persistence of Time is a direct representation of Winston’s life in 1984.

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