Discuss the role of Big Brother in Oceania and in Winston's life. Does the phrase "Big Brother is Watching You" have an application in today's society

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timbrady eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Big Brother is many things in their world.  The most important thing he is is the provider of all good things to the citizens of Oceania.  Of course, he might not even exist, but that is not important.  In a world where war is a fact of every day life, the citizens need protection.  Big Brothers is the opposite of Goldstein.  The people are taught that he is the enemy, that he is the threat that they are most to fear.  After the two minutes hate, the appearance of BB sooths the people.  Ironically, he is also the symbol of the surveillance and total control of their lives throught the workings of the Thought Police and the Inner Party which we know are real.

Does Big Brother exist today?  I guess that's a matter of opinion, but I think so; in fact I think "he" becomes more and more a part of our life every day.  Think back to the days prior to our having a social security number.  The government didn't have a means of "tracking" us as it does today.  Today it's possible for anyone to gather/steal a great deal of information about us.  There is also the issue of cameras everywhere.  How about tracking and keeping a record of all our phone calls?  What about the possibility of computerized health records?  Do we really want that information out there for whomever?  The more technology that's available, the more information can be gathered about us, the more our freedom is/may be in jeopardy.

Right now, because we trust our leadership, none of this may seem a problem.  But what if that leadership/system should change?  The information would remain ... what then might be done with it ... ?  Is it really a good idea to put out all the information we do on social networks?

Things to consider.