What is the difference between The Brotherhood and The Party?

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Jessica Pope eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The Party is the totalitarian, dystopian political structure and ideology controlling all of Oceania in George Orwell's classic political dystopia 1984. The origins of The Party are unclear, in part because one of the functions of The Party itself is to continuously erase all evidence of the past. Record-keeping is thus minimal, and the oral history of the organization is constantly in flux to serve The Party's current needs. The Party exploits, oppresses, and controls the people of Oceania. Some of its techniques are subtle and psychological; others are crudely violent and coercive. 

The Brotherhood is a secret organization hoping to fight and take down The Party one day. However it is not clear whether The Brotherhood actually exists, or whether the idea of The Brotherhood is merely a ploy used by The Party to catch would-be rebels before they get the chance. This ambiguity about whether or not The Brotherhood actually exists is maintained throughout the novel. The uncertainty is a critical aspect of the novel's plot and narrative political commentary.