1984 Book Two Notes
Chapter 9
Goldstein’s Book
• Title: The Theory and Practice of Oligarchial
• Oligarchy = a government in which a small
group exercises control, especially for corrupt
and selfish purposes
• Purpose of Goldstein’s book: to explain the
“secrets” of the Party
The World (major divisions)
Oceania = made up of U.S. and British Empire
Eurasia = made up of Europe and Russia
Eastasia = all other major countries
Buffer zone = war zone
Ministries of Ingsoc (and their
Love = torture
Truth = create lies
Peace = make war
Plenty = create shortages, starve population
Class System and Their Aims
A. High Class = Inner Party; aim = to stay on top
B. Middle Class = Outer Party; aim = to replace
the high; uses the low to overthrow the high;
uses ideas like “liberty,” equality,” and
“fraternity” to get support of low; betrays the
low when they succeed in getting to the top
C. Lower Class = Proles; aim = to destroy all
class divisions; total equality; die for this
cause but never are allowed to be equal
The Party’s Slogans Explained
1. War is Peace (pg. 152-165)
a. Nature of war: continuous, unwinnable, limited
fighting area; low casualties; fought only by a small
group of specially-trained soldiers
b. Purpose of war: (1) to use up surplus goods to keep
standard of living low in order to keep the population
in poverty and ignorance (2) to induce war hysteria,
unbalanced mental state conducive to doublethink (3)
supposedly to conquer other powers by treachery and
weapons of mass destruction (4) actually to get slave
labor to make arms to make more warfare
The Party’s Slogans Explained:
War is Peace (continued)
c. Two aims of the Party: (1) to conquer the
whole surface of the earth (2) to extinguish
once and for all the possibility of independent
d. Philosophies of the superstates:
i. Oceania – English Socialism
ii. Eurasia – Neo-Bolshevism
iii. Eastasia – Deathworship (Obliteration of
The Party’s Slogans Explained:
War is Peace (continued)
e. Explanation of this slogan: (In other words,
in what way does War equal Peace for the
Party?) War is the normal state of things; the
absence of war would disrupt the order of the
society; citizens are so focused on war, they
don’t think about overthrowing the
government; a constant state of war equals
peace for the continuation of the Party
The Party’s Slogans Explained:
Ignorance is Strength
2. Ignorance is Strength (pg. 166-179)
a. Big Brother is essential to the continuation of
the Party for the following reasons: Big Brother is
infallible and all-powerful. Nobody has ever seen
BB. He will never die. BB is the guise in which the
Party chooses to exhibit itself to the world. His
function is to act as a focusing point for love, fear,
and reverence, emotions which are more easily
felt toward an individual than toward an
The Party’s Slogans Explained:
Ignorance is Strength (continued)
b. Four ways in which a ruling group can fall from
i. Conquered from outside countries
(foreign powers)
ii. Masses revolt against the government
(revolt of the masses)
iii. Strong middle class takes over
iv. Loses its own self-confidence and
willingness to govern (collapses from within)
The Party’s Slogans Explained:
Ignorance is Strength (continued)
c. Four reasons the Party will never fail (why the
above four reasons will not happen):
i. Each of the 3 superstates are equal; none
more powerful than the others
ii. Masses (Proles) don’t realize they are
oppressed; too ignorant and poor
iii. Middle class (Outer Party) kept in fear of
Thought Police
iv. Those in control are hungry for power, NOT
wealth; never lose their desire for power;
younger generation trained at early ages to
love Party and BB
The Party’s Slogans Explained:
Ignorance is Strength (continued)
d. The alteration of the past (mutability of the
past) is important for 2 reasons:
i. Gives citizens no standard of comparison
ii. Safeguard the infallibility of the Party
e. Explanation of this slogan: (In what way does
the Ignorance of the citizens equal Strength for
the Party?) Keeping the citizens ignorant keeps
the Party strong and in control; educated citizens
would weaken the Party and lead to its downfall.
The Party’s Slogans Explained:
Freedom is Slavery
3. Freedom is Slavery (This one isn’t covered in
Chapter 9, but based on the explanation of the
two other slogans, the following could apply).
a. Explanation of this slogan: (In what way does
Freedom for the citizens equal Strength for the
Party?) Citizens who are allowed the freedom to
think for themselves and form opinions are a
danger to the Party; individual thought enslaves
the Party because it makes it less powerful than if
all citizens thought and acted the same—the way
the Party tells them to think