Inner Party

The Inner Party is the top two percent of citizens from Oceania in George Orwell’s 1984. 

Inner Party

The Definitive Glossary for 1984

These men and women are trained from a young age to care about nothing more Than they care about the Party’s well-being. While some Outer Party members, like Smith, might have mental space to wonder about the past, sex, and the nature of free will, the Inner Party members care about nothing more than they do about Big Brother

The Inner Party members are responsible for choices that the Outer Party members can’t be trusted with. For example, selecting one version of a speech for Big Brother or working to perfect weapons in the Ministry of Peace

Inner Party Definition

The Inner Party consists of the highest-ranking members of the Party in Oceania. These men and women live in larger homes and have access to things that the normal Party members do not. This includes better food and jobs.

O’Brien, the only Inner Party member who features heavily in the novel, convinces Winston Smith, the protagonist, that he’s a member of The Brotherhood, a secret organization that is plotting to overthrow Big Brother. 

The existence of the Inner Party is entirely dependent on the suffering of the Outer Party and the Proles. The former does the labor that the Inner Party gets to avoid, and they keep tabs on those below them through the use of the Though Police and the telescreens around the city.

Examples of the Inner Party in 1984 

O’Brien 

O’Brien is the most important character in the novel, a member of the Inner Party. He, as Smith discusses, holds a “post so important and remote that Winston had only a dim idea of its nature.” This line is quite evocative of the mysterious nature of the Inner Party. No one is entirely sure what these men and women do or how many of them are there. 

As the following lines describe, he wears “black overalls,” like all Inner Party members.

In “Chapter One” of Theory and Practice of Oligarchical Collectivism

Towards the end of the novel, Winston Smith learns more and more about the society he’s living in. He makes these statements about 

What kind of people would control this world had been equally obvious. The new aristocracy was made up for the most part of bureaucrats, scientists, technicians, trade-union organizers, publicity experts, sociologists, teachers, journalists, and professional politicians. These people, whose origins lay in the salaried middle class and the upper grades of the working class, had been shaped and brought together by the barren world of monopoly industry and centralized government. 

Smith notes that these types of leaders were “less avaricious, less tempted by luxury, hungrier for pure power, and, above all, more conscious of what they were doing and more intent on crushing opposition.” This made the government far more effective than it would’ve been otherwise. The tyrannies of the past, in comparison to that which is playing out around the world in Winston Smith’s universe, were “inefficient” and “half-hearted.” 

Discredited Members 

Partway through the novel, Winston is tasked with rewriting certain histories of Party members. He notes that his job included: 

falsifying a series of production reports of two years ago, in such a way as to cast discredit on a prominent member of the Inner Party, who was now under a cloud.

Here, it becomes clear that even Inner Party members are not infallible. Despite being trained to be nothing but devoted to Big Brother, these men and women can still step outside of the boundaries of what the Party approves. 

Julia’s Hatred 

Several times throughout the novel, Winston notes how much hatred Julia has for the Inner Party. She refers to the Party as “THEM.

THEM, it appeared, meant the Party, and above all the Inner Party, about whom she talked with an open jeering hatred which made Winston feel uneasy, although he knew that they were safe here if they could be safe anywhere.

The narrator also notes that Julia couldn’t mention: 

 the Party, and especially the Inner Party, without using the kind of words that you saw chalked up in dripping alley-ways. He did not dislike it. It was merely one symptom of her revolt against the Party and all its ways, and somehow it seemed natural and healthy, like the sneeze of a horse that smells bad hay.


FAQs

What is the difference between the Inner and Outer Party in 1984?

The Inner Party is the ruling class of Oceania. They are the leaders who hold positions of trust underneath Big Brother. In contrast, the Outer Party does jobs for the Inner Party members, most of which range in their level of responsibility. 

Is Winston part of the Inner Party?

Winston was a member of the Outer Party in 1984. He mostly knows other Outer Party members but does come into contact with O’Brien, an Inner Party member, and Proles, who live somewhat outside the system. 

What are the three social classes in 1984?

The three social classes are the Inner Party—the leaders, the Outer Party— the workers, and the Proles—uneducated, proletariate, many of whom are impoverished.

How is the life of an Inner Party member different?

Inner Party members enjoy far more luxuries than Outer Party members do. They have extra food, and food that the Outer Party doesn’t ever have, as well as larger accommodations and more freedom. 


  • Big Brother: the leader of Oceania and the face of the Party. He’s desired as a war hero, inventor, and more. He may also not be real. 
  • INGSOC: newspeak for English Socialism, the governing system used throughout Oceania. 
  • Syme: a character in 1984 and the man responsible for the newest addition of the Newspeak dictionary. 
  • Doublethink: cognitive dissonance. Or the act of thinking two contradictory things at once. Or believing that the two things are true. 
  • Newspeak: the language used to diminish the range of thought in Oceania. 
  • Ministry of Love: responsible for brainwashing the citizens of Oceania. 


Other Resources 

Inner Party
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