"To O'Brien the Brotherhood is a fraternity of people
who love the ideas and plans of Big Brother."


"The Brotherhood O'Brien belongs to is the BIGbrotherhood,
ie hoods for Big Brother."
~ Jackie Jura

...continued from O'BRIEN A MEMBER OF BROTHERHOOD? in response to a reader's conjecture that O'Brien and the Brotherhood are good

Greetings again Adam,

Winston and O'Brien actually have two different ideas of what the Brotherhood is.

To Winston it is "a brotherhood of man" type of organization made up of people like himself who are "enemies of the Party" and want to destroy Big Brother ("a dedicated sect doing evil") and turn the world into good:

See 32.Enemies of The Party

Winston is willing to repeat after O'Brien that he will do ANYTHING to destroy the Party. That's what's behind the chant or litany of "I do's" O'Brien demands of him. And Orwell, in his own life, could be ruthless against something he hated. There's the story his sister's husband tells of the time they went for a hike on the island of Scarba, just north of Jura. A snake slithered across Orwell's path and instead of just stomping it to death, like people normally do, Orwell stuck his foot on its head and then took out his knife, slit it down the centre and tossed its guts away.

The Brotherhood O'Brien belongs to is the BIGbrotherhood, ie hoods for Big Brother. To O'Brien the Brotherhood is a fraternity of people who love the ideas and plans of Big Brother which are laid out in "the book" written by Emmanuel Goldstein. This would be "the book" that Winston had heard about which was "a compendium of all the heresies" laying out methods for members of the brotherhood to destroy the societies in which they live. That wasn't "the book" Winston wanted to follow or the Brotherhood Winston was looking for.

35.The Brotherhood and 19.Goldstein Two Minutes Hate

The reason Winston had an affinity toward O'Brien was because O'Brien had whispered suggestions in his ear while he was sleeping which made Winston think he'd been dreaming. And then when Winston heard O'Brien's voice at work he recognized it as being the one he had heard in his dream. That was seven years ago. And since that time O'Brien had been trying to win Winston's trust so that he could pull him in like a fish on the line. Since that dream Winston had noticed kindnesses in O'Brien that the other members of the Inner Party didn't exhibit. Winston got the impression that O'Brien actually had some human characteristics. This was how O'Brien was entrapping Winston into believing that he, O'Brien, was a dissident Party member and maybe (Winston's wildest hope) a member of the Brotherhood (of man).

You say you don't understand why Winston saw O'Brien as a father-figure but Winston explains that one of the reasons he's attracted to O'Brien is because O'Brien LISTENS to him and seems to understand and empathize with him. Not only that, but O'Brien has the power of doing good OR evil to Winston and it takes Winston a long time to stop looking for good in O'Brien. I think in the end Winston gets the message, especially after O'Brien puts the cage of rats on his face. You don't hear Winston talking about O'Brien after that.

At the end of the book, as I've previously interpreted, all Winston is thinking about is how to get out of Big Brother's world with his hate for Big Brother intact.

All the best,
Jackie Jura

Jackie Jura
~ an independent researcher monitoring local, national and international events ~

email: orwelltoday@gmail.com
website: www.orwelltoday.com