In 1984, what are the four ministries and their purpose?

4 Answers

mstultz72's profile pic

mstultz72 | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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  1. Miniluv: Ministry of Love (law and order)
  2. Minipax: Ministry of Peace (war)
  3. Miniplenty: Ministry of Plenty (rationing)
  4. Minitrue: Ministry of Truth (propaganda)

Each of the ministries does just the opposite of what it says, like the Ministry of Defense in the U.S. (it's really the Ministry of War).

The Ministry of Love tortures political prisoners.

The Ministry of Peace wages war.

The Ministry of Plenty controls and rations the food supply to keep people near starvation.

The Ministry of Truth (where Winston works) spreads lies (propaganda), and it censors all print media, revises history, and truncates the language with each edition of the Newspeak dictionary.

pohnpei397's profile pic

pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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All of the ministries have very ironic names.

The Ministry of Truth is where Winston Smith works.  Their role is to change the past and to spread lies.  They are putting out what the Party says is true, but not what really is true.

The Ministry of Truth conducts wars.

The Ministry of Love is in charge of the police.  This includes things like the Thought Police.  As we see in the book, the police are brutal.

The Ministry of Plenty takes care of economic affairs.  This is an ironic name because pretty much everyone is poor.

Here is a video summarizing the novel:

kmj23's profile pic

kmj23 | (Level 2) Educator

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In 1984, there are four government ministries which Winston mentions in the opening paragraph:

  1. The Ministry of Truth which is concerned with "news, entertainment, education and the fine arts."
  2. The Ministry of Peace which deals with matters relating to war.
  3. The Ministry of Love which maintains law and order in Oceania.
  4. The Ministry of Plenty which is responsible for "economic affairs."

As another educator has mentioned, the names of these ministries are very ironic but they are significant for another reason, too. Namely, that they are intended to create the illusion that the Party cares about its citizens and is working hard to care for them, through "love" and providing "plenty." In reality, however, the people of Oceania face constant shortages and rations, are not given the correct information about the past and risk being tortured if they break the rules. Moreover, they live in dilapidated and run-down accommodation, like Victory Mansions.