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Big Brother

"Big Brother" is the nominal leader of Oceania in Nineteen Eighty-Four, George Orwell's chilling dystopic novel .

"Big Brother" is a dictator in a totalitarian state, taken to its utmost logical consequence. In the society that Orwell describes, everybody is under complete surveillance by the authorities. 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. In the novel, it is not clear if he actually exists as a person, or is an image crafted by the state.


Its name derived from the Orwellian term, Big Brother also refers to the Big Brother television program, a reality television show in which a number of volunteers are confined to a hostel for some weeks with cameras able to view their activities from every angle. At regular intervals, one of the contestants is voted off the show. The first edition was broadcast in The Netherlands in 1999. The format is known in France as "Loft Story". Some similar programmes are relayed only over the internet. The final contestant to be voted-out of the hostel normally qualifies for a monetary prize which acts as the incentive to voluntarily appear on the programme.



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