Monday, April 6, 2009

Big Brother

"... [T]he face of a man of about forty-five, with a heavy black mustache and ruggedly handsome features. Winston made for the stairs." (pg. 1)

One of the most important characters in 1984 but who never appears, Big Brother has the most important effect on Winston-- he represents the Party and everything that Winston wishes to rebel against. Big Brother is never physically seen by any of the characters in 1984, but he is seen in the posters and during the television programs put on by the program. Orwell's decision to never have Big Brother be actually seen by any of the characters adds to the mystery and fear that should be associated with Big Brother. No one really knows the truth about Big Brother, only the Party lies about him. Orwell's "Wizard of Oz"-kind of characterization of Big Brother even keeps the reader in the dark about him, making sure that the reader responds to him the same way a citizen of Oceania would.

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