Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

According to the Party, Emmanuel Goldstein was a former member who left to form what is referred to in hushed tones as the "Brotherhood," a sort of dissident organization. Goldstein, as a former insider, supposedly wrote a book called The Theory and Practice of Oligarchical Collectivism, which explained how the Party exerts its control over the people, and suggested a means by which it might be overthrown. Winston reads the book after finding it in a shop among the proles. Much like Big Brother, it seems that Goldstein is a fabrication of the Party itself. His face is held up as a figure for derision during the daily Two Minutes of Hate, and much of the "theory" described in his supposedly subversive book is exposed as a lie by O'Brien, who tells Winston that the Party is without ideology except that of power for its own sake. Goldstein is portrayed to the Party members as a constant threat, always plotting against the Party, and it is likely that this supposed threat is a means to create the constant sense of crisis that sustains the Party. In any case, the hope that Winston feels after reading Goldstein's supposed book is quickly crushed.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team
Soaring plane image

We’ll help your grades soar

Start your 48-hour free trial and unlock all the summaries, Q&A, and analyses you need to get better grades now.

  • 30,000+ book summaries
  • 20% study tools discount
  • Ad-free content
  • PDF downloads
  • 300,000+ answers
  • 5-star customer support
Start your 48-Hour Free Trial