Top 50+George Orwell Quotes


Who is George Orwell

Eric Arthur Blair, better known by his pen name George Orwell, was an English author and journalist. His work is marked by keen intelligence and wit, a profound awareness of social injustice, an intense opposition to totalitarianism, a passion for clarity in language, and a belief in democratic socialism.

In addition to his literary career Orwell served as a police officer with the Indian Imperial Police in Burma from 1922-1927 and fought with the Republicans in the Spanish Civil War from 1936-1937. Orwell was severely wounded when he was shot through his throat. Later the organization that he had joined when he joined the Republican cause, The Workers Party of Marxist Unification (POUM), was painted by the pro-Soviet Communists as a Trotskyist organization (Trotsky was Joseph Stalin’s enemy) and disbanded. Orwell and his wife were accused of “rabid Trotskyism” and tried in absentia in Barcelona, along with other leaders of the POUM, in 1938. However by then they had escaped from Spain and returned to England.

George Orwell Quotes

1. Perhaps one did not want to be loved so much as to be understood.

2. Who controls the past controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past.

3. In a time of deceit telling the truth is a revolutionary act.

4. War is peace.
Freedom is slavery.
Ignorance is strength.

5. All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.

6. Every generation imagines itself to be more intelligent than the one that went before it, and wiser than the one that comes after it.

7. The best books… are those that tell you what you know already.

8. The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again; but already it was impossible to say which was which.

9. If you want to keep a secret, you must also hide it from yourself.

10. The most effective way to destroy people is to deny and obliterate their own understanding of their history.

11. It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen.

12. If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face—for ever.

13. We shall meet in the place where there is no darkness.

14. But if thought corrupts language, language can also corrupt thought.

15. Doublethink means the power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one’s mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them.

16. Political language is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind.

17. If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.

18. Until they become conscious they will never rebel, and until after they have rebelled they cannot become conscious.

19. Now I will tell you the answer to my question. It is this. The Party seeks power entirely for its own sake. We are not interested in the good of others; we are interested solely in power, pure power. What pure power means you will understand presently. We are different from the oligarchies of the past in that we know what we are doing. All the others, even those who resembled ourselves, were cowards and hypocrites. The German Nazis and the Russian Communists came very close to us in their methods, but they never had the courage to recognize their own motives. They pretended, perhaps they even believed, that they had seized power unwillingly and for a limited time, and that just around the corner there lay a paradise where human beings would be free and equal. We are not like that. We know that no one ever seizes power with the intention of relinquishing it. Power is not a means; it is an end. One does not establish a dictatorship in order to safeguard a revolution; one makes the revolution in order to establish the dictatorship. The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now you begin to understand me.

20. In the face of pain there are no heroes.

21. If you loved someone, you loved him, and when you had nothing else to give, you still gave him love.

22. Perhaps a lunatic was simply a minority of one.

23. Power is in tearing human minds to pieces and putting them together again in new shapes of your own choosing.

24. Being in a minority, even in a minority of one, did not make you mad. There was truth and there was untruth, and if you clung to the truth even against the whole world, you were not mad.

25. Writing a book is a horrible, exhausting struggle, like a long bout with some painful illness. One would never undertake such a thing if one were not driven on by some demon whom one can neither resist nor understand.

26. Big Brother is Watching You.

27. The essence of being human is that one does not seek perfection.

28. It’s a beautiful thing, the destruction of words.

29. Freedom is the freedom to say that two plus two make four. If that is granted, all else follows.

30. Reality exists in the human mind, and nowhere else.

31. The choice for mankind lies between freedom and happiness and for the great bulk of mankind, happiness is better.

32. I enjoy talking to you. Your mind appeals to me. It resembles my own mind except that you happen to be insane.

33. For, after all, how do we know that two and two make four? Or that the force of gravity works? Or that the past is unchangeable? If both the past and the external world exist only in the mind, and if the mind itself is controllable – what then?

34. Man is the only creature that consumes without producing. He does not give milk, he does not lay eggs, he is too weak to pull the plough, he cannot run fast enough to catch rabbits. Yet he is lord of all the animals. He sets them to work, he gives back to them the bare minimum that will prevent them from starving, and the rest he keeps for himself.

35. People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf.

36. Orthodoxy means not thinking–not needing to think. Orthodoxy is unconsciousness.

37. Nothing was your own except the few cubic centimetres inside your skull.

38. On the whole human beings want to be good, but not too good, and not quite all the time.

39. Four legs good, two legs bad.

40. We do not merely destroy our enemies; we change them.

41. The only good human being is a dead one.

42. Confession is not betrayal. What you say or do doesn’t matter; only feelings matter. If they could make me stop loving you-that would be the real betrayal.

43. Sanity is not statistical

44. A scrupulous writer, in every sentence that he writes, will ask himself at least four questions, thus: 1. What am I trying to say? 2. What words will express it? 3. What image or idiom will make it clearer? 4. Is this image fresh enough to have an effect?

45. Men can only be happy when they do not assume that the object of life is happiness.

46. To die hating them, that was freedom.

47. Of pain you could wish only one thing: that it should stop. Nothing in the world was so bad as physical pain. In the face of pain there are no heroes.

48. Several of them would have protested if they could have found the right arguments.

49. The object of terrorism is terrorism. The object of oppression is oppression. The object of torture is torture. The object of murder is murder. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?

50. Every record has been destroyed or falsified, every book rewritten, every picture has been repainted, every statue and street building has been renamed, every date has been altered. And the process is continuing day by day and minute by minute. History has stopped. Nothing exists except an endless present in which the Party is always right.

51. One does not establish a dictatorship in order to safeguard a revolution; one makes the revolution in order to establish the dictatorship.

52. All the war-propaganda, all the screaming and lies and hatred, comes invariably from people who are not fighting.

53. No one believes more firmly than Comrade Napoleon that all animals are equal. He would be only too happy to let you make your decisions for yourselves. But sometimes you might make the wrong decisions, comrades, and then where should we be?

54. This work was strictly voluntary, but any animal who absented himself from it would have his rations reduced by half.

55. There was truth and there was untruth, and if you clung to the truth even against the whole world, you were not mad.

56. Your worst enemy, he reflected, was your own nervous system. At any moment the tension inside you was liable to translate itself into some visible symptom.

57. We know that no one ever seizes power with the intention of relinquishing it.

58. The masses never revolt of their own accord, and they never revolt merely because they are oppressed. Indeed, so long as they are not permitted to have standards of comparison, they never even become aware that they are oppressed.

59. Under the spreading chestnut tree I sold you and you sold me:
There lie they, and here lie we
Under the spreading chestnut tree.

60. There are some ideas so absurd that only an intellectual could believe them.


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