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The Party which controls Oceania is split into two parts: the Inner Party and the Outer Party. The Outer Party, or the "hands" of the state, makes up approximately 13% of the population of Oceania.
The protagonist of the novel, Winston Smith, is a member of the Outer Party, as are most of the other characters, though he does interact with a few proles (generally objects of contempt or disgust for Party members). The Outer Party represents the middle class in Oceanic society, bureaucrats who do most of the actual work in the Party government and its four ministries. Its members can be identified by their blue jumpsuits.
From a certain viewpoint, the members of the Outer Party, and not the proles, are seen as the worst off of the three classes. They lack the Proles' relative personal freedom and simple pleasures, and also lack the Inner Party members' luxurious lifestyle and privileges in the form of food, sweets, servants, or even motor vehicles. In addition, they are under constant and uninterrupted surveillance, both in private and in public, as their intellectual capabilities combined with their lack of power means that they are the most likely to incite rebellion against the government. In contrast, the Party consider the proles irrelevant, while the Inner Party members' luxuries and rich lifestyles are supposed to help maintain their loyalty to the State.
Outer Party members drink beer and oily Victory Gin, as very little wine reaches them, and they mostly use artificial sweeteners (such as saccharine) instead of sugar (though it is possible for the Outer Party and Proles to obtain most of the Inner Party's "luxury" goods, such as high-quality food and drink and well-made cigarettes, in limited quantities through a black market that works by stealing from the Inner Party's supplies). Those that do smoke will smoke Victory Cigarettes, which have a tendency to lose tobacco if not carefully held, and food is of low or mediocre quality (e.g. fast food). Also, in order to sustain themselves, they have to purchase various basic necessities from proles' shops (such as razors or shoelaces) or through the black market.
- "Alternative facts, fake news and how George Orwell saw ..." The Daily Express. June 15, 2019.
- "The Tragedy of Winston Smith - A Naturalistic Perspective of Nineteen Eighty- Four" (PDF). International Journal of Business and Social Science. April 11, 2016.