Oceania is the location of the novel's version of London, where Winston Smith, the main character, lives. It is apparently composed of the Americas, Britain (called Airstrip One in the novel), Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, and southern Africa below the River Congo. It also controls - to different degrees and at various times during the course of its eternal war with either Eurasia or Eastasia — the polar regions, India, Indonesia and the islands of the Pacific. It is described in The Theory and Practice of Oligarchical Collectivism by Emmanuel Goldstein, Oceania's declared Public Enemy Number One, as resulting from the merging of the British Empire and the United States. Goldstein's book also states that Oceania's primary natural defence is the sea surrounding it. This may be the reason why the Party highlights the Floating Fortresses.
It occasionally conquers the rest of Africa, but is later driven back by Eurasia. Oceania lacks a single capital, although what could be seen as regional capitals such as London and apparently New York City are in place.
The ruling doctrine of Oceania is Ingsoc, the Newspeak term for English Socialism, which is ultimately devoted to the naked exercise of power. Its nominal leader is Big Brother, who is believed by the masses to have been the leader of the revolution and is still used as a figurehead by the party, but may now be dead, or may have never existed. The personality cult is maintained through Big Brother's function as a focal point for love, fear, and reverence, emotions which are more easily felt towards an individual than towards an organization.
The unofficial language of Oceania is English (officially Oldspeak) and the official language is Newspeak. The restructuring of the language is intended to ultimately eliminate even the possibility of unorthodox political and social thought, by eliminating the words needed to express it.
The society of Oceania is sharply stratified into three groups, the small power-seeking and government controlling Inner Party, the more numerous and highly indoctrinated Outer Party, and the large body of politically meaningless and mindless Proles. Except for certain rare exceptions like Hate Week, the proles remain essentially outside Oceania's political control.
Oceania's national anthem is Oceania, Tis For Thee which, in one of the three film versions of the book, takes the form of a crescendo of organ music along with operatic lyrics. The lyrics are sung in English, and the song is reminiscent of God Save the Queen and Die Stem van Suid-Afrika.
It is implied that Eurasia was formed when the Soviet Union absorbed the rest of continental Europe, creating a single nation stretching from Portugal to the Bering Strait. The ruling ideology of Eurasia is reported in the book to be "Neo-Bolshevism," a term that is not clearly defined but which presumably refers to Stalinism. According to Goldstein's book, Eurasia's main natural defense is its vast landspaces.
Eastasia's borders are not as clearly defined as the other two superstates, but it is known that they at least comprise most of modern day China, Indochina, Japan, Taiwan, and Korea as well as fluctuating areas of Manchuria, Mongolia and Tibet. Eastasia repeatedly captures and loses Indonesia, Papua New Guinea and the various Pacific archipelagoes. Its political ideology is, according to the novel, "called by a Chinese name usually translated as Death-worship, but perhaps better rendered as 'Obliteration of the Self'." possibly a mix of communism and Buddhism.
Not much information about Eastasia is given in the book. It is known that it is the newest and smallest of the three superstates. According to Goldstein's book, it emerged a decade after the establishment of the other two superstates, placing it somewhere in the 1960s, after years of fighting among its predecessor nations. It is also said in the book that the industriousness and fecundity of the people of Eastasia allows them to overcome their territorial inadequacy in comparison to the other two powers.
The "disputed area", which lies "between the frontiers of the super-states", is "a rough quadrilateral with its corners at Tangier, Brazzaville, Darwin, and Hong Kong." This area is fought over during the perpetual war between the three great powers, with one power sometimes exerting control over vast swaths of the disputed territory, only to lose it again the next time the alliances switch. Control of the islands in the Pacific and the polar regions is also constantly shifting, though none of the three superpowers ever gains a lasting hold on these regions. The inhabitants of the area, having no allegiance to any nation, live in a constant state of slavery under whichever power controls them at that time.
The world of Nineteen Eighty-Four exists in a state of perpetual war between the three major powers. At any given time, two of the three states are aligned against the third; however, as Goldstein's book points out, each Superstate is so powerful that even an alliance of the other two cannot destroy it, resulting in a continuing stalemate. From time to time, one of the states betrays its ally and sides with its former enemy. In Oceania, when this occurs, the Ministry of Truth rewrites history to make it appear that the current state of affairs is the way it has always been, a perfect example of doublethink.
Goldstein's book states that the war is not a war in the traditional sense, but simply exists to use up resources and keep the population in line. Victory for any side isn't attainable or even desirable, but the Inner Party, through an act of doublethink, believes that such victory is in fact possible. Although the war began with the use of atomic weapons in the 1950s, none of the combatants use them any longer for fear of upsetting the balance of power. Relatively few technological advances have been made (the only two mentioned are the replacement of bombers with "rocket bombs" and of traditional capital ships with the immense "floating fortresses").
Almost all of the information about the world beyond London is given to the reader through government or Party sources, which by the very premise of the novel are unreliable. Specifically, in one episode Julia brings up the idea that the war is fictional and that the rocket bombs falling from time to time on London are fired by the government of Oceania itself, in order to maintain the war atmosphere among the population. The protagonists have no means of proving or disproving this theory. However, during preparations for Hate Week, rocket bombs fell at an increasing rate, hitting places such as playgrounds and crowded theatres, causing mass casualties and increased hysteria and hatred for the party's enemies.