O'Brien is a member of the Inner Party, the ruling elite in Oceania

O’Brien is a mysterious figure at the beginning of the book.

He is described as a “[...] large, burly man with a thick neck and a coarse, humorous brutal face”, but it is also noted that he has “a certain charm of manner” (p. 12). In particular, the narrator refers to O’Brien’s “trick of re-settling his spectacles on his nose which was curiously disarming – in some indefinable way, curiously civilised” (p. 12).

He is a member of the Inner Party, which means he enjoys a level of luxury unknown to the majority of citizens in Oceania. The description of his neighbourhood and home is a strong contrast to the poor residential areas described in the rest of the book:

[...] the huge block of flats, the richness and spaciousness of everything, the unfamiliar smells of good food and good tobacco, the silent and incredibly rapid...

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