Emmanuel Goldstein

Emmanuel Goldstein is a major figure in George Orwell’s dystopian novel 1984. He is a mysterious man, and his identity remains shrouded in darkness.

The Definitive Glossary for 1984

Despite his uncertain role and the fact that he may not actually exist, he plays an incredibly important role in the story as the leader of the anti-government organization, the Brotherhood. The Party paints him as an enemy of the people and uses their emotions to rally them against the Party’s supposed enemies.

Who is Emmanuel Goldstein?

Emmanuel Goldstein is the leader of the Brotherhood, an underground resistance movement that fights against Big Brother and the oppressive government of Oceania. 

In the novel, Goldstein is portrayed as the most hated enemy of Big Brother, and his face is often projected onto a giant telescreen during the daily Two Minutes Hate ritual. He is used as a propaganda tool.

While Winston suspects that Goldstein is simply a tool used by the government to keep its citizens in line, it’s never revealed if he actually exists or is just a figment of the Party’s imagination. 

Despite his mysterious nature, Emmanuel Goldstein serves as a symbol of hope for those who wish to fight against the oppressive regime. He is a reminder that the tyrannical rule of Big Brother is not inevitable, and there are still ways to stand up against it. He also serves as an example of courage and determination in the face of overwhelming odds. 

The biggest question surrounding Goldstein is whether or not he’s actually a real person who is promoting freedom of thought from the ruling group or if he’s a creation of the Inner Party, perhaps even the Ministry of Truth where Winston works.

Character Analysis

Goldstein is portrayed as a political revolutionary, and his speeches are broadcasted by the Party throughout the nation. His physical appearance is never described, leaving readers with only his words and actions to understand his character. He’s depicted as ugly, a traitor, and someone that a good citizen of the country would never want to associate with. 

Goldstein is devoted to overthrowing the oppressive government and restoring freedom to the people of Oceania (which, to Winston Smith, is a good thing). He serves as an important catalyst for change and rebellion against the Party. He values human liberty above all else and will do whatever it takes to protect it. 

One of the biggest unanswered questions in the book is whether or not Goldstein exists. It’s possible, if not likely, that the government created Goldstein so that they’d always have a villain to blame. If something went wrong, it was the Brotherhood’s fault. If they wanted to redirect the citizens’ answer, it was towards Goldstein that they did it. 

Just as the Party changed who Oceania was at war with, switching between Eurasia and Eastasia, so too did they regularly return to expressing hate towards Goldstein. 

Importance in 1984

Emmanuel Goldstein is a mysterious and enigmatic character who serves as the leader of an underground, anti-government resistance group known as the Brotherhood. Goldstein is a figure of great significance in the story, and his role in the narrative serves as a powerful symbol of freedom and rebellion against oppressive authority.

Goldstein is depicted as a shadowy figure that few people have seen. He is represented as a menacing enemy of Big Brother and the totalitarian government. The public has been conditioned to view him as an enemy of the state, and his name is invoked with fear and hatred by those in power. In spite of this, he remains a symbol of hope and freedom to those who have faith in him. 

Goldstein’s teachings from his book The Theory and Practice of Oligarchical Collectivism inspire a rebellion against Big Brother, and his existence acts as a reminder that dissent and opposition are possible even in a state of complete subjugation. In one scene, Winston Smith even finds himself wondering if there might be a way for him to make contact with Goldstein, showing that there is still a spark of hope left inside him. 

Goldstein’s importance in 1984 is not just confined to the narrative; he is also important as a symbol of resistance against tyranny. By showing that even under an oppressive regime, there can be individuals willing to stand up for their beliefs, he serves to encourage people to never give up hope, even in the face of adversity.

As such, Emmanuel Goldstein represents a powerful example of courage and defiance in the face of tyranny. The book inspires Winston and Julia to defy the Thought Police further.


Here are some quotes from Goldstein that express his beliefs or (as it’s revealed) the Party’s beliefs.

If leisure and security were enjoyed by all alike, the great mass of human beings who are normally stupefied by poverty would become literate and would learn to think for themselves; and when once they had done this, they would sooner or later realize that the privileged minority had no function, and they would sweep it away.

This is a passage from Goldstein’s book, one that is meant to clarify the Party’s purpose in the world and its reason for subjugating the proles of Oceania. The Party believes that if the proles are allowed any enjoyment in life beyond the base drinking and sex they enjoy, they would “realize that the privileged minority had no function.” They would rise up, he implies, and take down the government.

At the apex of the pyramid comes Big Brother. Big Brother is infallible and all-powerful. Every success, every achievement, every victory, every scientific discovery, all knowledge, all wisdom, all happiness, all virtue, are held to issue directly from his leadership and inspiration.

This is another quote from the book, one that helps readers understand the role of Big Brother. Every success is dedicated to this one figurehead at the top of the pyramid of leadership and respect. He’s a god-like figure, the book implies, one that is “infallible and all-powerful.”


Who is Emmanuel Goldstein based on?

Orwell reportedly based Emmanuel Goldstein on Leon Trotsky, a famous leader of the Bolshevik Revolution. 

Who actually wrote Goldstein’s book in 1984?

In 1984, George Orwell included a book titled: The Theory and Practice of Oligarchical Collectivism. The book was supposedly written by Emmanuel Goldstein to help the masses rebel against Big Brother and INGSOC, but it turns out that it was written by the inner-Party members and O’Brien

What does Goldstein’s book symbolize in 1984?

The book, The Theory and Practice of Oligarchical Collectivism, symbolizes freedom and truth, at first, anyway. As the novel progresses, it becomes clear that the book actually symbolizes the deepest of the Party’s deceit and their use of doublethink.

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