How does O'Brien's lifestyle in 1984 demonstrate hypocrisy?

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kmj23 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In Part Two, Chapter Eight, of 1984, Orwell introduces the reader to O'Brien's apartment, where the details of his lifestyle are revealed. As an Inner Party member, O'Brien lives in an apartment block separate from ordinary Party members. Inside this block, O'Brien has his own servant and is surrounded by all kinds of "richness," like "good food and good tobacco" and pristine furniture.

In this apartment, O'Brien tells Winston and Julia that he is the head of a secret organization called the Brotherhood whose sole purpose is to bring down the Party. This is hypocritical because O'Brien is happy to enjoy the material benefits of being an Inner Party member while he preaches sabotage, subversion and the creation a new society. By presenting him in this manner, Orwell hints at O'Brien's deception, which is instrumental in Part Three when he is revealed as a member of the Thought Police. 

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1984

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