Who is Emmanuel Goldstein and what is his role in society?

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luannw eNotes educator| Certified Educator

There is most likely no Emmanuel Goldstein, at least not by that name.  He is a figure conjured by the Party to serve as the focus of anger for the people.  The Party knows that people want someone to blame when things go wrong or when bad things happen and Goldstein serves that purpose for them.  The figure also serves the purpose of helping the Party ferret out those who are against Big Brother and the Party. In chapter 8 of Part 2, O'Brien tells Winston he will send him Goldstein's book and in chapter 9, he does so. Ironically, the book shows the true evil of the Party.  By accepting and reading the book, Winston has sealed his own fate and revealed himself as a traitor.  In chapter 10, then, Winston and Julia are both arrested.  In Part 3, chapter 2, Winston confesses to having been in personal contact with Goldstein, but he confesses to many other fictional crimes as well.  In chapter 3, O'Brien tells Winston that he collaborated with another member of the Party in the writing of Goldstein's book.  The implication is that the book was written as a means of entrapping dissidents. There was no Goldstein who wrote the book that exposed the evils of the Party.