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Although this surveillance creates anxiety and all but eliminates privacy, no one attempts to overthrow the system. This is because they are willing to relinquish the right to think, speak and act as they choose in exchange for perceived safety from the unending war allegedly being fought. Their fear is escalated by the frightening facts reported by the Government. Additionally, though there is a history of peaceful relations with the countries with whom Oceania is supposedly at war yet the people do not know this due to government’s policy of re writing the past and the present whenever necessary to suit their needs. The opening pages of the novel present two main characters: the protagonist, Winston, and the antagonist, Big Brother. Winston, a 39 year old man, is coming home from work. As he heads for his apartment, we are told that on each landing is a poster of a large face of a man about forty five years old with a black
mustache and strong, handsome feature. The appearance of this face, simply referred
to as Big Brother, is described to impart the sense of an imposing presence which found in every area of the society. The image establishes the perception of an eye that sees all. The idea that this unnamed individual is always watching from the shadows establishes the social order of the society whose members have learned better than to utter anything that might be construed as negatively related to Big Brother and The Party, which is the ruling upper class. Orwell’s first reference to “Big Brother” is found the third paragraph of the first chapter of 1984.