1984 Questions and Answers
by George Orwell

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In 1984, what is the purpose of Big Brother and the Party?

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Big Brother and the Party exist to exercise total power over the lives of the people, especially Outer Party members. The Party—that is, the elite, inner Party—functions as a totalitarian government controlling every aspect of everybody's lives (except for the proles, who are controlled and kept in misery in a general way, but not forced to behave with complete orthodoxy). Big Brother is the emblem of the Party. He is both a benign father figure who everyone is taught to love and a constant reminder that every Outer Party member is under continual surveillance.

As both Goldstein's book and O'Brien explain to Winston , the only purpose of the ruling elite is to increase and perpetuate its own power. The rulers want the rest of the people to be dehumanized so that they can only experience hate, fear, triumph, and love of Big Brother. The rulers want to constantly force people to do things they don't want to do, because this is the only way the ruling class can be sure they have power over...

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