1984 Questions and Answers
by George Orwell

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What is the meaning of Ingsoc in 1984 by George Orwell?

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Gretchen Mussey eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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In the novel 1984, INGSOC is an acronym for "English Socialism," which is the political philosophy adopted by Oceania's ruling Socialist Party. Orwell writes that the principles of INGSOC are doublethink, the mutability of the past, the denial of objective reality, and Newspeak. The Party controls every aspect of human life throughout the country and relies on propaganda, economic suppression, fear, and collectivism to oppress its population. The totalitarian regime relies on the tenets of INGSOC to maintain power and control the citizens. Doublethink, which is the ability to accept two contradictory views simultaneously, and the fabrication of history create the impression that Big Brother is omniscient. The Party also alters language using Newspeak, which effects one's capacity to articulate grievances against the government. Essentially, INGSOC is Oceania's Socialist philosophy that relies upon basic principles to control and oppress the population into benefiting the totalitarian regime.

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Lynnette Wofford eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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The term Ingsoc is used in George Orwell's novel 1984. It was invented in the novel as one of the many neologisms that comprise "Newspeak," an artificial form of language associated with "doublethink" and designed to brainwash the public. It is not used outside this novel.

Within the framework of the novel, Ingsoc originally stood for "English socialism" but has come to mean the current social and political form of organization in Oceania. The basic structure of this society is sometimes also described as "Oligarchical Collectivism," in which the economy is state-controlled and collectivist but is run by an oligarchy (a small group of people) as opposed to democratic socialism where power is more broadly distributed.

The society is sometimes portrayed as a pyramid with "Big Brother" at the apex, followed by a small number of people belonging to the "Inner Party," a slightly larger group belonging to the "Outer Party," and finally at the bottom of the class hierarchy the masses or "proles" who are basically powerless and do various forms of menial labor.

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