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BIG BROTHER IS WATCHING YOU
Size: 11 x 14"
This poster is inspired by George Orwell's novel, Nineteen Eighty-four. "Big Brother" is the enigmatic dictator of Oceania, a totalitarian state taken to its utmost logical consequence. In the society that Orwell describes, everybody is under complete surveillance by the authorities, mainly by telescreens. The people are constantly reminded of this by the phrase "Big Brother is watching you", which is the core "truth" of the propaganda system in this state.
The physical description of "Big Brother" is reminiscent of Joseph Stalin or Lord Kitchener. In the novel, it is not clear if he actually exists as a person, or is an image crafted by the state. However, since Inner Party torturer O'Brien at one point tells Winston Smith that Big Brother can never die, the apparent implication is that Big Brother is the personification of the party. In a book supposedly written by the rebel Emmanuel Goldstein (but later revealed to have a more complex origin) it is stated that "nobody has ever seen Big Brother. He is a face on the hoardings, a voice on the telescreen… Big Brother is the guise in which the Party chooses to exhibit itself to the world. His function is to act as a focusing point for love, fear, and reverence, emotions which are more easily felt towards an individual than towards an organization."
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