How does Big Brother control every aspect of the Outer Party's lives?

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bullgatortail eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The previous post covered the most important facets of Big Brother's power over the people in George Orwell's novel, 1984. Additionally, the watchful eye of Big Brother created an aura of fear in most of the party members. Even those members who were loyal to the party or completely honest in the actions of their daily lives were affected by the knowledge that anything they might say or do was being monitored. The people were forced to control their words, resorting to only fantasies or mental thoughts about dreams or ambitions that might somehow be seen in a negative light by Big Brother. Those who needed a break from Big Brother were forced to tread into the seamy side of life or seek relief far from the possible cameras and microphones that were visible (and hidden) nearly everywhere. 

pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

First of all, I would say that it is not really Big Brother that is controlling the people.  We do not really even know if he exists.  However, he is a symbol for the Party, which does control the people.

There are many ways that the Party controls people:

  • Surveillance through the screens.
  • The threat of the Thought Police and of being turned in to them by people like the Spies.
  • The Junior Anti-Sex League to help prevent people from forming relationships.
  • Newspeak.  By controlling the very words you are allowed to use, the Party is controlling thoughts.