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Does this mean what I think it means? "specter of big brother"

The term "specter of big brother" does it mean being under the watchful eye of the government? Just curious because its a question that came up in one of my homework assignments (college class). If you know what it means do you know where the term originated from? Thanks!


Asked by pinkgemini85 at 2:13 PM on Sep. 1, 2009 in Politics & Current Events

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Answers (5)
  • thanks but that is just a google search which I had previously done myself, I was looking more for insight from politically educated moms on here.

    Answer by pinkgemini85 at 2:37 PM on Sep. 1, 2009

  • samurai_chica

    Answer by samurai_chica at 2:23 PM on Sep. 1, 2009

  • Well I'm not entirely sure it means that someone is being monitored by being brother, or that they themselves believe that they are, and that the belief that "big brother" is watching their every move haunts their mind.

    I just find the use of the word "specter" interesting.


    Answer by SRiveroC at 2:46 PM on Sep. 1, 2009

  • I have always taken it to be an allusion to George Orwell's novel 1984. I'm sure you've read this, but the Big Brother of the novel was the fear of the government having control of every aspect of your life which included: work, words, history, thoughts, memories, enjoyment especially sexual desire and love. Everything was under the "specterof big brother". If you even attempted to disprove anything, you were sent to reeducation, and at the moment of death, you gave in and declared that Big Brother is all good, all knowing! This was Orwell's fear. His vision may have been a little extreme, but the concept is plausible. Check out any communist/socialist country.


    Answer by jesse123456 at 2:50 PM on Sep. 1, 2009

  • A Spectre, or specter, is the looming presence, the ominous advance of something. It isn't quite there yet:
    "The spectre of starvation loomed over the drought-stricken community"

    The notion of Big Brother comes from Orwell's book about an England 30 years into the future where Socialism has taken control.
    The book is called "1984".
    Orwell explores the consequences of totalitarian control which declares that the good of the many is more important than the good of the individual. ("Collectivism" vs "individualism" )
    The gov't control calls itself Big Brother, to give subjects a warm family feeling toward the rules and restrictions it is putting into place. Orwell shows that very this is a lie and a cover for sheer exploitation of the individuals to serve the gov't power agendas. He explores the falsehood of the idea that collectivism can be good for the society ... in truth it is only "good" for those in power.


    Answer by waldorfmom at 2:51 PM on Sep. 1, 2009