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 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." 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".
The idea of Big Brother could be also borrowed from the Soviet Union. There was an ideology of 'brotherly nations' or 'brotherly countries'. Russia presented itself as a big brother who watches over its younger brothers (other nations). The ideological word 'big brother' or 'older brother' was very well known and used in the Soviet Republics before and after WWII.
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What is important to remember and understand about Big Brother as a figure in the novel is that it does not actually matter whether or not he is real: the Party's most effective tool of control is Big Brother, meaning that his actual identity is not important. According to Party propaganda, he fills a fatherly or brotherly role for the people of Oceania, guiding them through life and making them feel safe. Winston quietly hates Big Brother, but even he is sometimes caught up in feelings of love for him, especially when he takes part in large-scale brainwashing activities with crowds of people.
Big Brother functions mostly as a symbol of the Party's power. He becomes a familiar, even an almost reassuring, presence because he is everywhere. Big Brother represents authority and power, but the Party tries to shape the public's perception of him so that he takes on the role of an older brother or fatherly figure who knows what is best for them. Winston even describes crowds of people displaying their loyalty to Big Brother. ''At this moment the entire group of people broke into a deep, slow, rhythmic chant of 'B-B! .... B-B! .... B-B!'--over and over again....It was a refrain that was often heard in moments of overwhelming emotion. Partly it was a sort of hymn to the wisdom and majesty of Big Brother, but still more, it was an act of self-hypnosis, a deliberate drowning of consciousness by means of rhythmic noise.''
The Story of Big Brother Mouse offers a lively introduction to what we do. We invite you to download this PDF and share with friends: The Story of Big Brother Mouse. Also available in Lao, German, French and Japanese editions; other languages are in preparation.
Despite this grumpy-looking personality, Terence has a soft side he does not show very often. He worries about his friends, and is willing to lend them a hand when necessary. Similarly, he cares deeply about his daughters (in the second movie), and panics whenever they are lost. He can also act friendly and solidary even to his enemies despite his cranky look, such as when he gave the Minion Pigs gifts for Christmas.
The Story of Big Brother MouseBig Brother Mouse was born in 2006. Book publishing at that time was a rare event in Laos. We worked with young Lao people to improve writing skills, created new ways to make fun books for young readers, and then developed ways to get those books to children in rural villages.Who is it for? We invite you to download this and share with anyone who's interested in books, literacy, education, or Laos. It's in English, German and Japanese; we expect to publish it in other languages, too.More about this book | Lao edition | English edition | German edition| Japanese edition | French edition
The Countries of ASEANLaos is one of ten members of the Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN). The Countries of ASEAN combines photographs, maps, and text, to tell about each member's history, and culture. A traditional folktale from each country adds local color, and will attract more readers. The full book is 96 pages with many illustrations. Here, we offer a chance to download the non-fiction text and pictures for several countries: Laos, Indonesia, Philippines, and Singapore.Who is this for? These are written entirely in Lao. High school and college students are very eager to learn about ASEAN countries; they'll also provide good practice for anyone learning Lao.More about the book from which these are taken | To download, click a country above
A Hmong BoyhoodIf you visited Big Brother Mouse around 2008-2011, you might have met James, who learned English at our free morning practice, and worked here part-time, all while attending high school. James was born in a Hmong village high on a mountain. We asked him to tell write about his life, first in that village, then living on his own so he could attend middle school and then high school in the town below. His story is in English, with many photos.Who is it for? We've published this only in English (so far); anyone who wants to know about life in rural Laos will enjoy it. Here in Laos, it's a book that young people can read to improve their English skills.More about this book | Free download
Yuli's StoryWould you like to know more about life in Laos? Barbara Meili and Gikong asked a boy in Laos to tell about his life. Here is his story, with many photographs. The text is in English, French, and German.Who is it for? This is different from other books listed here. We have not published it in Laos; it's for teachers, parents, and young people in other countries who would like to know more about life in another country.Free download
The Red-Headed Club, and other storiesThree popular Sherlock Holmes stories, with simplified English. Lao and English side by side. Illustrated.Who is it for? Anyone studying Lao or English, particularly if they know one of these languages and are learning the other.More about this book | Free download
PhiiyamoiA traditional Lao folktale about the witch, Phiiyamoi, and the poor fisherman she forces to marry her. Lao language.Who is it for? Primarily of interest to Lao families, in Laos and abroad.More about this book | Free download
No Chickens, No EggsThongkham searched thousands of pictures to create this entertaining alphabet book. Each letter is illustrated with 6-12 words, and pictures, that start with that letter.. Lao and English, illustrated.Who is it for? This was originally intended for Lao children, learning the Lao alphabet. It has also proven highly popular with older students learning either Lao, or English. More about this book | Free download
Women's HealthThis long-needed book, which will benefit women and their medical caregivers, is adapted from "Where Women Have No Doctor," published by the Hesperian Foundation. It covers women's reproductive systems; pregnancy; childbirth; and breastfeeding; and the special concerns of girls and young women. Lao. Illustrated.Who is it for? This book is posted online primarily to make it more available to hospitals, health centers, and health workers in Laos who have internet access. We hope, of course, that others will also benefit.More about this book | Free download
The Little Elephant That CouldWhat happens when Big Brother Mouse goes to a rural school for a book party? Although a bit fictionalized (Boom-Boom, our book elephant, can't actually talk) this shows the Mouse team in action, along with an inspiring message. Lao and English. Illustrated.Who is it for? Any family visiting Laos should enjoy this book. It is particularly suited for school classes that are raising money to sponsor a book party in Laos.More about this book | Free download
One Mouse and Seven CatsThis book was originally intended to introduce Lao children to simple arithmetic concepts. The pictures depict many scenes that reflect everyday life for Lao children, but are quite out-of-the-ordinary for western readers. For this PDF, we've added background information at the end, in English, explaining each picture. Lao and English. Illustrated.Who is it for? School classes that would like to learn about another culture. Families planning a visit to Laos. More about this book | Free download 2b1af7f3a8