1984 Questions and Answers
by George Orwell

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In 1984, who is Goldstein?

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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.

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