Big Brother speed illustration cc-by lemasney

This is a speed design of a recent poster illustration of George Orwell’s 1984 theme: Big Brother is Watching. I used an octopus and security cameras to illustrate the idea.

big brother is watching (lemasney, 2016)

big brother is watching (lemasney, 2016)

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“In the essay section of his novel 1985, Anthony Burgess states that Orwell got the idea for the name of Big Brother from advertising billboards for educational correspondence courses from a company called Bennett’s, current during World War II. The original posters showed J. M. Bennett himself: a kindly-looking old man offering guidance and support to would-be students with the phrase “Let me be your father” attached. According to Burgess, after Bennett’s death, his son took over the company, and the posters were replaced with pictures of the son (who looked imposing and stern in contrast to his father’s kindly demeanor) with the text “Let me be your big brother.” Additional speculation from Douglas Kellner of UCLA argued that Big Brother represents Joseph Stalin.[1][2] Another theory is that the inspiration for Big Brother was Brendan Bracken, the Minister of Information until 1945. Orwell worked under Bracken on the BBC’s Indian Service. Bracken was customarily referred to by MOI employees by his initials, B.B., the same initials as the character Big Brother. Orwell also resented the wartime censorship and need to manipulate information which he felt came from the highest levels of the MOI and from Bracken’s office in particular.” curated by lemasney from Big Brother (Nineteen Eighty-Four) – Wikipedia at


“In the book The Theory and Practice of Oligarchical Collectivism, read by Winston Smith and purportedly written by Goldstein, Big Brother is referred to as infallible and all-powerful. No-one has ever seen him and there is a reasonable certainty that he will never die. He is simply “the guise in which the Party chooses to exhibit itself to the world”, since the emotions of love, fear and reverence are more easily focused on an individual (if only a face on the hoardings and a voice on the telescreens), than an organisation. When Winston Smith is later arrested, O’Brien  repeats that Big Brother will never die. When Smith asks if Big Brother exists, O’Brien describes him as “the embodiment of the Party” and says that he will exist as long as the Party exists. When Winston asks “Does Big Brother exist the same way I do?” (meaning is Big Brother an actual human being), O’Brien replies “You do not exist” (meaning that Smith is now an unperson; an example of doublethink).” curated by lemasney from Big Brother (Nineteen Eighty-Four) – Wikipedia at

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