Big Brother is the name of the autocratic and absolutist dictator of Oceania in George Orwell's dystopian satire Nineteen Eighty-Four. The novel frequently refers to the slogan Big Brother Is Watching You, a term that has become associated with situations where the state exercises excessive surveillance over the individual citizen.
Big Brother as a character was probably influenced by figures such as Joseph Stalin, who promoted a brutal atheistic, communistic, and dictatorial ideology. Today the term "Big Brother" is frequently used to refer to non-beneficial monitoring of law-abiding citizens.
Orwell's depiction of Big Brother was the result of his becoming increasingly disillusioned with the Left as he grew older, as reflected by his final two novels: Animal Farm and 1984.