The Ministry of Love serves as Oceania’s interior ministry. It enforces loyalty to Big Brother through fear, buttressed through a massive apparatus of security and repression, as well as systematic brainwashing. The Ministry of Love building has no windows and is surrounded by barbed wire entanglements, steel doors, hidden machine-gun nests, and guards armed with “jointed truncheons“. Referred to as “the place where there is no darkness”, its interior lights are never turned off. It is arguably the most powerful ministry, controlling the will of the population. The Thought Police is part of Miniluv.
It contains Room 101, within which is every citizen’s worst fear—”the worst thing in the world.”
The Ministry of Love, like the other ministries, is a paradox, since it is largely responsible for the practice and infliction of misery, fear, suffering and torture. In a sense, however, the name is apt, since its ultimate purpose is to instill love of Big Brother—the only form of love permitted in Oceania—in the minds of thoughtcriminals as part of the process of reverting them to orthodox thought. This is typical of the language of Newspeak, in which words and names frequently contain both an idea and its opposite; the orthodox party member is nonetheless able to resolve these contradictions through the disciplined use of doublethink.
While the term “Ministry” implies that it is headed by a minister, there is nowhere in the book any mention of a Minister of Love nor of the ministers heading Oceania’s three other Ministries. The heads of the ministries are evidently shadowy figures with all public attention focused on the idealized figurehead Big Brother.