In 1984, Orwell describes a world divided into three superstates; Oceania, Eurasia and Eastasia, this mirrors the rise of the superpowers in the years following his death. The three superstates carry on a war where they change sides (a satire on the position of the USSR during the second world war, where it began with a pact with Nazi Germany and ended up fighting them, necessitating an abrupt about turn by apologists of Stalinism).
The real purpose of the war in 1984 may be to give the superstates the excuse to keep their own populations in check. Today the ‘war on terror’ may perform a similar task. In another twist, there may not actually be three superstates at all and even the year may not actually be 1984.
• Oceania covers the entire continents of America and Oceania and the British Isles, the main location for the novel, in which they are referred to as ‘Airstrip One’.
• Eurasia covers Europe and (more or less) the entire Soviet Union.
• Eastasia covers Japan, Korea, China and northern India.