Ingsoc in 1984

An error occurred trying to load this video.

Try refreshing the page, or contact customer support.

Coming up next: Glass Paperweight in 1984: Role & Significance

You're on a roll. Keep up the good work!

Take Quiz Watch Next Lesson
Your next lesson will play in 10 seconds
  • 0:02 ''1984''
  • 0:47 The Philosophies of Ingsoc
  • 2:31 Big Brother
  • 3:19 Ingsoc in the Real World
  • 4:04 Lesson Summary
Save Save Save

Want to watch this again later?

Log in or sign up to add this lesson to a Custom Course.

Log in or Sign up

Speed Speed

Recommended Lessons and Courses for You

Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Liz Breazeale
George Orwell built upon existing ideals and political systems to create the political ideology Ingsoc for his novel '1984'. Discover what Ingsoc is and its significance within the book, then test your knowledge with a quiz.


You've probably heard some type of reference to George Orwell's super famous novel 1984 at some point in your life. After all, the novel is so well-known that its fictional language, Newspeak, and its creepy political slogans have crept into our vocabulary since its publication in 1949. The novel itself is often interpreted as a critique of totalitarian and authoritarian regimes. It follows Winston Smith, a government employee who lives in Airstrip One, formerly Great Britain. Airstrip One is part of the supercontinent Oceania, which is run by the English Socialist Party and represented by Big Brother, a mustached dictator who may or may not be real. So let's forge ahead: What exactly is Ingsoc, and what role does it play in the novel?

The Philosophies of Ingsoc

George Orwell crafted an entire backstory and built an entire world for his novel 1984 that includes the political ideology known as Ingsoc, which is Newspeak for English Socialism, the reigning philosophy of the authoritarian regime in Oceania. Newspeak, to backtrack a bit, is the fictional language Orwell crafted specifically for use in this novel. Newspeak and Ingsoc go perfectly together, as they both are designed to remove independence and free thought from Oceanians.

Ingsoc is constantly changing throughout the novel, because the powers that be are constantly rewriting Oceania's history, as well as the history of the Party's rise to power. But a few things never go away. First, Ingsoc is built upon a vast system of psychological control over citizens. The party wants nothing more than to squash any form of independence. This is where Newspeak is useful, because Newspeak as a language has eliminated most negative words in an attempt to eliminate all negative thoughts toward the party and Ingsoc. Newspeak also simplifies all thought by simplifying words. For example, the word 'great' becomes 'doubleplusgood.'

Second, Ingsoc demands the complete submission of all citizens. The party will go to great lengths to achieve complete submission, and torture is common. We've already seen how Newspeak contributes to this, but what else is there? Well, the Inner Party, those tip-top-level bureaucrats who run the show behind the scenes, use the Ministry of Truth, or MiniTrue, in order to put forth the best propaganda and brainwash Oceanians. They also use MiniLuv, or the Ministry of Love, the torturers, to gain complete control. Another such device of control is perhaps one of the Inner Party's best ideas yet: Big Brother.

To unlock this lesson you must be a Member.
Create your account

Register to view this lesson

Are you a student or a teacher?

Unlock Your Education

See for yourself why 30 million people use

Become a member and start learning now.
Become a Member  Back
What teachers are saying about
Try it risk-free for 30 days

Earning College Credit

Did you know… We have over 200 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.

To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page

Transferring credit to the school of your choice

Not sure what college you want to attend yet? has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.

Create an account to start this course today
Try it risk-free for 30 days!
Create an account