HomeQuotes160 George Orwell Quotes to Elevate Your Perspective

160 George Orwell Quotes to Elevate Your Perspective

2. “War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength.”

3. “Who controls the past, controls the future. Who controls the present, controls the past.”

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

5. “If you want to keep a secret, you must also hide it from yourself.”

6. “Perhaps one did not want to be loved so much as to be understood.”

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

8. “But if thought corrupts language, language can also corrupt thought.”

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

10. “In a time of deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.”

11. “We shall meet in the place where there is no darkness.”

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

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13. “If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face—forever.”

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

15. “In the face of there are no heroes.”

16. “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.”

17. “The best books are those that tell you what you know already.”

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

19. “Until they become conscious they will never rebel, and until after they have rebelled they cannot become conscious.”

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

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21. “Being in a minority, even in a minority of one, did not make you mad.”

22. “Reality exists in the human mind and nowhere else.”

23. “The essence of being human is that one does not seek perfection.”

24. “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.”

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

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

27. “Four legs good, two legs bad.”

28. “The only good human being is a dead one.”

29. “Confession is not . 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.”

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

31. “Of pain, you could wish only one thing: that it should stop. Nothing in the world was so bad as physical pain.”

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

33. “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.”

34. “Man serves the interests of no creature except himself.”

35. “If you can feel that staying human is worthwhile, even when it can’t have any result whatsoever, you’ve beaten them.”

36. “At 50, everyone has the face he deserves.”

37. “He wears a mask, and his face grows to fit it.”

38. “Let’s face it: our lives are miserable, laborious, and short.”

39. “To see what is in front of one’s nose needs a constant struggle.”

40. “It is a feeling of relief, almost of pleasure, at knowing yourself at last—genuinely down and out.”

41. “We are the dead. Our only true life is in the future.”

42. “The consequences of every act are included in the act itself.”

43. “If there really is such a thing as turning in one’s grave, Shakespeare must get a lot of exercise.”

44. “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.”

45. “But it was alright, everything was alright, the struggle was finished. He had won the victory over himself. He loved Big Brother.”

46. “The further a society drifts from the truth, the more it will hate those that speak it.”

47. “The distinguishing mark of man is the hand—the instrument with which he does all his mischief.”

48. “Man is the only real enemy we have. Remove man from the scene, and the root cause of hunger and overwork is abolished forever.”

49. “I hate purity, I hate goodness! I don’t want virtue to exist anywhere. I want everyone to be corrupt to the bones.”

50. “The end was contained in the beginning.”

51. “Some ideas are so stupid that only intellectuals believe them.”

52. “The stars are a free show; it doesn’t cost anything to use your eyes.”

53. “His answer to every problem, every setback was ‘I will work harder!’—which he had adopted as his personal motto.”

54. “If there is hope, it lies in the proles.”

55. “To the future or to the past, to a time when thought is free, when men are different from one another and do not live alone— to a time when truth exists and what is done cannot be undone: from the age of uniformity, from the age of solitude, from the age of Big Brother, from the age of doublethink—greetings!”

56. “But the thought of being a lunatic did not greatly trouble him; the horror was that he might also be wrong.”

57. “He was a lonely ghost uttering a truth that nobody would ever hear. But so long as he uttered it, in some obscure way the continuity was not broken. It was not by making yourself heard, but by staying sane that you carried on the human heritage.”

58. “He felt as though he were wandering in the 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.”

59. “You will be hollow. We shall squeeze you empty, and then we shall fill you with ourselves.”

60. “Though it is unreal, it is not meaningless.”

61. “What happens to you here is forever.”

62. “Within certain limits, it is actually true that the less money you have, the less you worry.”

63. “There, comrades, is the answer to all our problems. It is summed up in a single word—man.”

64. “This life we live nowadays, it’s not life. It’s stagnation—death-in-life. Look at all these bloody houses and the meaningless people inside them. Sometimes I think we’re all corpses. Just rotting upright.”

65. “Autobiography is only to be when it reveals something disgraceful. A man who gives a good account of himself is probably lying, since any life when viewed from the inside is simply a series of defeats.”

66. “To an ordinary human being, love means nothing if it does not mean loving some people more than others.”

67. “Even through the shut window pane, the world looked cold.”

68. “It is fatal to look hungry. It makes people want to kick you.”

69. “Happiness can exist only in acceptance.”

70. “So long as human beings stay human, death and life are the same thing.”

71. “When the white man turns tyrant, it is his own freedom that he destroys.”

72. “To hang on from day to day and from week to week, spinning out a present that had no future, seemed an unconquerable instinct, just as one’s lungs will always draw the next breath so long as there is air available.”

73. “Most people get a fair amount of fun out of their lives, but on balance life is suffering, and only the very young or the very foolish imagine otherwise.”

74. “Poverty frees them from ordinary standards of behaviour, just as money frees people from work.”

75. “Weak or strong, clever or simple, we are all brothers.”

76. “It is only when you meet someone of a different culture from yourself that you begin to realise what your own beliefs really are.”

77. “Beauty is meaningless until it is shared.”

78. “Inequality was the price of civilization.”

79. “The aim of the joke is not to degrade the human being, but to remind him that he is already degraded.”

80. “Now he had recognized himself as a dead man it became important to stay alive as long as possible.”

81. “I have no wish to take life, not even human life.”

82. “It is a corrupting thing to live one’s real life in secret. One should live with the stream of life, not against it.”

83. “Perhaps a lunatic was simply a minority of one.”

84. “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.”

85. “It’s a beautiful thing, the destruction of words.”

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

87. “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?”

88. “Orthodoxy means not thinking—not needing to think. Orthodoxy is unconsciousness.”

89. “Nothing was your own except the few cubic centimetres inside your skull.”

90. “Sanity is not statistical.”

91. “Nothing holds it together except an idea which is indestructible.”

92. “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.”

93. “Several of them would have protested if they could have found the right arguments.”

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

95. “There are some ideas so absurd that only an intellectual could believe them.”

96. “If people cannot write well, they cannot think well, and if they cannot think well, others will do their thinking for them.”

97. “In philosophy, or religion, or ethics, or politics, two and two might make five, but when one was designing a gun or an aeroplane they had to make four.”

98. “The greatest enemy of clear language is insincerity.”

99. “Don’t you see that the whole aim of Newspeak is to narrow the range of thought? In the end we shall make thoughtcrime literally impossible, because there will be no words in which to express it.”

100. “We are all capable of believing things which we know to be untrue, and then, when we are finally proved wrong, impudently twisting the facts so as to show that we were right.”

101. “All writers are vain, selfish and lazy, and at the very bottom of their motives lies a mystery.”

102. “Stupidity was as necessary as intelligence, and as difficult to attain.”

103. “In general, the greater the understanding, the greater the delusion; the more intelligent, the less sane.”

104. “Everyone believes in the atrocities of the enemy and disbelieves in those of his own side, without ever bothering to examine the evidence.”

105. “The past was erased, the erasure was forgotten, the lie became the truth.”

106. “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.”

107. “The Revolution will be complete when the language is perfect.”

108. “Freedom of the Press, if it means anything at all, means the freedom to criticize and oppose.”

109. “Perhaps a man really dies when his brain stops, when he loses the power to take in a new idea.”

110. “The urge to shout filthy words at the top of his voice was as strong as ever.”

111. “We have now sunk to a depth at which restatement of the obvious is the first duty of intelligent men.”

112. “He drove his mind into the abyss where poetry is written.”

113. “Writing a novel is agony.”

114. “A generation of the unteachable is hanging upon us like a necklace of corpses.”

115. “Within any important issue, there are always aspects no one wishes to discuss.”

116. “It is one of the tragedies of the half-educated that they develop late, when they are already committed to some wrong way of life.”

117. “We are living in a world in which nobody is free, in which hardly anybody is secure, in which it is almost impossible to be honest and to remain alive.”

118. “Good novels are written by people who are not frightened.”

119. “Thoughtcrime, they called it.”

120. “My poems are dead because I’m dead. You’re dead. We’re all dead. Dead people in a dead world.”

121. “Never use a long word where a short one will do.”

122. “The atmosphere of orthodoxy is always damaging to prose, and above all it is completely ruinous to the novel, the most anarchical of all forms of literature.”

123. “He might be ragged and cold or even starving, but so long as he could read, think and watch for meteors, he was, as he said, free in his own mind.”

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

125. “Big Brother is watching you.”

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

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

128. “We do not merely destroy our enemies; we change them.”

129. “To die hating them, that was freedom.”

130. “A society becomes totalitarian when its structure becomes flagrantly artificial: that is, when its ruling class has lost its function but succeeds in clinging to power by force or fraud.”

131. “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?”

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

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

134. “We know that no one ever seizes power with the intention of relinquishing it.”

135. “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.”

136. “If you kept the small rules, you could break the big ones.”

137. “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 ordinary hypocrisy: they are deliberate exercises in doublethink.”

138. “Every war when it comes, or before it comes, is represented not as a war but as an act of self-defense against a homicidal maniac.”

139. “Can you not understand that liberty is worth more than just ribbons?”

140. “A people that elect corrupt politicians, imposters, thieves and traitors are not victims, but accomplices.”

141. “Pacifism is objectively pro-fascist. This is elementary common sense. If you hamper the war effort of one side, you automatically help out that of the other. Nor is there any real way of remaining outside such a war as the present one. In practice, ‘He that is not with me is against me.’”

142. “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.”

143. “All men are enemies. All animals are comrades.”

144. “Freedom is the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.”

145. “How does one man assert his power over another?”

146. “The real division is not between conservatives and revolutionaries but between authoritarians and libertarians.”

147. “But you could not have pure love or pure lust nowadays. No emotion was pure, because everything was mixed up with fear and hatred. Their embrace had been a battle, the climax a victory. It was a blow struck against the Party. It was a political act.”

148. “The quickest way of ending a war is to lose it.”

149. “There are occasions when it pays better to fight and be beaten than not to fight at all.”

150. “The opinion that art should have nothing to do with politics is itself a political attitude.”

151. “In moments of crisis one is never fighting against an external enemy but always against one’s own body.”

152. “The secret of rulership is to combine a belief in one’s own infallibility with a power to learn from past mistakes.”

153. “Despotic governments can stand ‘moral force’ till the what they fear is physical force.”

154. “Liberal: a power worshipper without power.”

155. “Those who abjure violence can only do so by others committing violence on their behalf.”

156. “When a man has a black face, suspicion is proof.”

157. “Where there is equality there can be sanity.”

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