In the post-World War II novel
Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell, Big Brother is the supreme ruler of Oceania, infallible and all-powerful, who wields total power over the inhabitants. He is simply a face the controlling Party chooses to show the people since they need a human face to connect to and dread and fear. He is only a face appearing on coins, on telescreens, and on the large posters which are plastered all over the city with the slogan “Big Brother is watching you.” In this society, every citizen is under constant surveillance by the authorities, even in their homes. The people lead dehumanized, fearful lives; they can even be arrested for thought crimes (politically incorrect In modern culture from articles to cartoons to movies to advertisements to video games, the term “Big Brother” has become a synonym for abuse of government power. Since the publication of Nineteen Eighty-Four in 1948, the phrase “Big Brother” describes any authority figure attempting to control others by spying on them.