author

George Orwell Quotes

69 of the best book quotes from George Orwell
01
Share
“We know that no one ever seizes power with the intention of relinquishing it.”
George Orwell
author
1984
book
intentions
power
concepts
02
Share
“The consequences of every act are included in the act itself.”
03
Share
“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.”
1984
book
power
concept
04
Share
“It was curious to think that the sky was the same for everybody, in Eurasia or Eastasia as well as here. And the people under the sky were also very much the same--everywhere, all over the world, hundreds or thousands of millions of people just like this, people ignorant of one another’s existence, held apart by walls of hatred and lies, and yet almost exactly the same--people who had never learned to think but were storing up in their hearts and bellies and muscles the power that would one day overturn the world.”
1984
book
people
lies
concepts
05
Share
“He felt as though he were wandering in the forests of the sea bottom, lost in a monstrous world where he himself was the monster. He was alone. The past was dead, the future was unimaginable”
06
Share
“In the face of pain there are no heroes.”
1984
book
heroes
pain
concepts
07
Share
“If you loved someone, you loved him, and when you had nothing else to give, you still gave him love.”
1984
book
love
concept
08
Share
“I enjoy talking to you. Your mind appeals to me. It resembles my own mind except that you happen to be insane.”
1984
book
humor
concept
09
Share
“Four legs good, two legs bad.”
10
Share
“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.”
11
Share
“The essential act of war is destruction, not necessarily of human lives, but of the products of human labour. War is a way of shattering to pieces, or pouring into the stratosphere, or sinking in the depths of the sea, materials which might otherwise be used to make the masses too comfortable, and hence, in the long run, too intelligent.”
1984
book
war
concept
12
Share
“It’s a beautiful thing, the destruction of words.”
1984
book
words
concept
13
Share
“Reality exists in the human mind, and nowhere else.”
1984
book
reality
concept
14
Share
“We do not merely destroy our enemies; we change them.”
1984
book
enemies
concept
15
Share
“Of pain you could wish only one thing: that it should stop. Nothing in the world was so bad as physical pain.”
1984
book
pain
concept
16
Share
“The end was contained in the beginning.”
1984
book
time
concept
17
Share
“If you set yourself to it, you can live the same life, rich or poor. You can keep on with your books and your ideas. You just got to say to yourself, “I’m a free man in here” - he tapped his forehead - “and you’re all right.”
18
Share
“Perhaps one did not want to be loved so much as to be understood.”
19
Share
“Who controls the past controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past.”
1984
book
time
future
concepts
20
Share
“War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength.”
1984
book
war
freedom
concepts
21
Share
“If you want to keep a secret, you must also hide it from yourself.”
1984
book
secrets
concept
22
Share
“Doublethink means the power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one’s mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them.”
23
Share
“Power is in tearing human minds to pieces and putting them together again in new shapes of your own choosing.”
1984
book
power
concept
24
Share
“Orthodoxy means not thinking--not needing to think. Orthodoxy is unconsciousness.”
25
Share
“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.”
1984
book
betrayal
concept
26
Share
“To die hating them, that was freedom.”
1984
book
freedom
concept
27
Share
“The best books... are those that tell you what you know already.”
1984
book
knowledge
books
concepts
28
Share
“It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen.”
1984
book
time
concept
29
Share
“If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face—for ever.”
1984
book
future
concept
30
Share
“But if thought corrupts language, language can also corrupt thought.”
31
Share
“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.”
32
Share
“Until they become conscious they will never rebel, and until after they have rebelled they cannot become conscious.”
33
Share
“The Ministry of Peace concerns itself with war, the Ministry of Truth with lies, the Ministry of Love with torture and the Ministry of Plenty with starvation. These contradictions are not accidental, nor do they result from from ordinary hypocrisy: they are deliberate exercises in doublethink”
34
Share
“Let’s face it: our lives are miserable, laborious, and short.”
35
Share
“It is curious how people take it for granted that they have a right to preach at you and pray over you as soon as your income falls below a certain level.”
36
Share
“Sanity is not statistical.”
37
Share
“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.”
1984
book
enemies
health
concepts
38
Share
“In general, the greater the understanding, the greater the delusion; the more intelligent, the less sane.”
39
Share
“All the war-propaganda, all the screaming and lies and hatred, comes invariably from people who are not fighting.”
40
Share
“Freedom is the freedom to say that two plus two make four.”
1984
book
freedom
concept
41
Share
“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.”
42
Share
“The only good human being is a dead one.”
43
Share
“Man serves the interests of no creature except himself.”
44
Share
“It is a feeling of relief, almost of pleasure, at knowing yourself at last genuinely down and out. You have talked so often of going to the dogs — and well, here are the dogs, and you have reached them, and you can stand it. It takes off a lot of anxiety.”
45
Share
He would say that God had given him a tail to keep the flies off, but that he would sooner have had no tail and no flies.
Benjamin the Donkey
character
tails
animals
concepts
46
Share
Do not imagine, comrades, that leadership is a pleasure!
47
Share
Can you not understand that liberty is worth more than just ribbons?
Snowball
character
liberty
concept
48
Share
Windmill or no windmill, life would go on as it had always gone on - that is, badly.
49
Share
I have no wish to take life, not even human life.
Boxer
character
death
concept
50
Share
Donkeys live a long time. None of you has ever seen a dead donkey.
51
Share
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?
52
Share
Only old Benjamin professed to remember every detail of his long life and to know that things never had been, nor ever could be much better or much worse--hunger, hardship, and disappointment being, so he said, the unalterable law of life.
53
Share
This work was strictly voluntary, but any animal who absented himself from it would have his rations reduced by half.
54
Share
Man is the only real enemy we have. Remove Man from the scene, and the root cause of hunger and overwork is abolished forever.
55
Share
There, comrades, is the answer to all our problems. It is summed up in a single word-- Man.
56
Share
The Seven Commandments: Whatever goes upon two legs is an enemy. Whatever goes upon four legs, or has wings, is a friend. No animal shall wear clothes. No animal shall sleep in a bed. No animal shall drink alcohol. No animal shall kill any other animal. All animals are equal.
57
Share
All men are enemies. All animals are comrades.
58
Share
The distinguishing mark of man is the hand, the instrument with which he does all his mischief.
59
Share
His answer to every problem, every setback was “I will work harder!” —which he had adopted as his personal motto.
Boxer
character
work
concept
60
Share
Weak or strong, clever or simple, we are all brothers.
Old Major
character
family
concept
61
Share
“There was truth and there was untruth, and if you clung to the truth even against the whole world, you were not mad.”
1984
book
truth
concept
62
Share
“What can you do, thought Winston, against the lunatic who is more intelligent than yourself, who gives your arguments a fair hearing and then simply persists in his lunacy?”
63
Share
“It struck him that in moments of crisis one is never fighting against an external enemy, but always against one’s own body... On the battlefield, in the torture chamber, on a sinking ship, the issues that you are fighting for are always forgotten, because the body swells up until it fills the universe, and even when you are not paralysed by fright or screaming with pain, life is a moment-to-moment struggle against hunger or cold or sleeplessness, against a sour stomach or an aching tooth.”
1984
book
enemies
fight
concepts
64
Share
“All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.”
65
Share
“Several of them would have protested if they could have found the right arguments.”
66
Share
“There are occasions when it pays better to fight and be beaten than not to fight at all.”
67
Share
“The stars are a free show; it don’t cost anything to use your eyes”
68
Share
They had come to a time when no one dared speak his mind, when fierce, growling dogs roamed everywhere, and when you had to watch your comrades torn to pieces after confessing to shocking crimes.
69
Share
If liberty means anything at all it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.

Recommended quote pages

View All Quotes