In the novel 1984 by George Orwell, how does Big Brother affect the theme of manipulation?

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Big Brother is the enigmatic figurehead of the Party, whose picture adorns every hallway, forum, and public space in Orwell 's dystopian nation of Oceania. The stoic, masculine portrait of a man with a stern look and a bushy mustache is the face of Big Brother and underneath his portrait...

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Big Brother is the enigmatic figurehead of the Party, whose picture adorns every hallway, forum, and public space in Orwell's dystopian nation of Oceania. The stoic, masculine portrait of a man with a stern look and a bushy mustache is the face of Big Brother and underneath his portrait is the warning "BIG BROTHER IS WATCHING YOU" (Orwell, 4). In addition to the numerous posters of Big Brother hanging throughout Oceania, his image also appears on telescreens during the Two Minutes Hate period. Big Brother offers the Party members encouraging words and comforts them after they witness the horrifying images of enemy soldiers attacking their nation. Big Brother's image manipulates the Party members by striking fear in them while simultaneously offering them protection from government scapegoats like Emmanuel Goldstein.

Big Brother's portrait is a constant reminder that Party members are under surveillance, which alters their behaviors by indirectly suggesting that they act completely orthodox at all times out of fear that they will be arrested by the Thought Police. The Party also manufactures hysteria, which is illustrated during their Two Minutes Hate period, and uses Big Brother's image to calm and assure the Party members that he will protect them. This method of manipulation creates a reverence towards Big Brother as the Party members look to him as their courageous leader and protector. Overall, the Party uses Big Brother's image to strike fear in its populace and manipulate Party members into idolizing and obeying the government figurehead.

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Big Brother himself is a looming presence in London in 1984. His image is everywhere, along with an ominous reminder that "Big Brother is watching you." Whether Big Brother physically exists or not is never fully established. It seems certain that he does not, that he is a fabrication of the Party's propagandists. When Winston asks O'Brien if Big Brother actually exists, in the sense that Winston exists, during his torture, O'Brien only replies coldly: "You do not exist." So Big Brother is an example of manipulation on two different levels. First, the constant belief that one is being watched, symbolized by Big Brother, is a major way of maintaining control for the Party. Second, the fact that Big Brother's physical existence is less important than his existence in the minds of the people is an example of the way the Party manipulates the collective and individual psyches of its members, literally creating reality. In a word, it is "doublethink."

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