Big Brother is a fictional character in George Orwell's novel Nineteen Eighty-Four, the enigmatic dictator of Oceania, a totalitarian state taken to its utmost logical consequence -where the ruling elite ('the Party') wield total power for its own sake over the inhabitants.
In the society that Orwell describes, everyone is under complete surveillance by the authorities, mainlyby telescreens. The people are constantly reminded of this by the phrase "Big Brother is watching you", which is the core "truth" of the propaganda system in this state. Big Brother's physicalcharacteristics are intended to resemble Joseph Stalin, although in the film his moustache more closely resembles Adolf Hitler's.
In the novel, it is unclear if Big Brother is aman or an entity crafted by the Party.
In Party propaganda, however, Big Brother is presented as a real person; one of the founders of the Party along with Goldstein. At one point in the year 1984,the protagonist of Orwell's novel tries "to remember in what year he had first heard mention of Big Brother. He thought it must have been at some time in the sixties, but it was impossible to becertain. In the Party histories, of course, Big Brother figured as the leader and guardian of the Revolution since its very earliest days. His exploits had been gradually pushed backwards in time untilalready they extended into the fabulous world of the forties and the thirties, when the capitalists in their strange cylindrical hats still rode through the streets of London in great gleaming motor-carsor horse carriages with glass sides. There was no knowing how much of this legend was true and how much invented."
In the year 1984, Big Brother (as seen on posters and on the telescreen) appears as aman of about 45. Goldstein's book comments: "We may be reasonably sure that he will never die, and there is already considerable uncertainty as to when he was born."
Though Oceania's Ministry of...
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