George Orwell Quotes

Most popular George Orwell Quotes

Big Brother is watching you.
— George Orwell

oppression

Good prose is like a windowpane.

prose

At fifty, everyone has the face he deserves.
— George Orwell

age 50

The quickest way of ending a war is to lose it.
— George Orwell

war

The great enemy of clear language is insincerity.
— George Orwell

words

The only "ism" that has justified itself is pessimism.

pessimism

Advertising is the rattling of a stick inside a swill-bucket.

advertising

Thoughts corrupt language, and language can also corrupt thought.
— George Orwell

language thinking

Freedom is the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.
— George Orwell

freedom

To see what is in front of one's nose requires a constant struggle.
— George Orwell

human nature

All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.
— George Orwell

propaganda

But if thought corrupts language, language can also corrupt thought.
— George Orwell

writing

Language ought to be the joint creation of poets and manual workers.

language

Saints should always be judged guilty until they are proved innocent.

saint

If you want a vision of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face—forever.
— George Orwell

predictive

Who controls the past controls the future: who controls the present controls the past.
— George Orwell

future

Whoever writes English is involved in a struggle that never lets up even for a sentence.

English

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

human nature being good

From his refined accent, quiet voice and apparent omniscience, I took him for a librarian.

libraries

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

freedom

The Machine, the genie that man has thoughtlessly let out of its bottle and cannot put back again.
— George Orwell We

machines

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

freedom

We have now sunk to a depth at which restatement of the obvious is the first duty of intelligent men.
— George Orwell

intelligence the human condition

"Who controls the past," ran the Party slogan, "controls the future: who controls the present controls the past."

future

He was an embittered atheist, the sort of atheist who does not so much disbelieve in God as personally dislike Him.
— George Orwell

atheist

To do anything that suggested a taste for solitude, even to go for a walk by yourself, was always slightly dangerous.

solitude

Doublethink means the power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one's mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them.
— George Orwell

politics

Nearly all creators of Utopia have resembled the man who has toothache, and therefore thinks happiness consists in not having toothache.
— George Orwell

utopia

It appears to me that one defeats the fanatic precisely by not being a fanatic oneself, but on the contrary by using one's intelligence.
— George Orwell

fanaticism

Political language . . . is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind.
— George Orwell
Philosophers, writers, artists, even scientists, not only need encouragement and an audience, they need constant stimulation from other people.

encouragement

A tragic situation exists precisely when virtue does not triumph but when it is still felt that a man is nobler than the forces which destroy him.
— George Orwell
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.

suffering life

I'm fat, but I'm thin inside.  Has it ever struck you that there's a thin man inside every fat man, just as they say there's a statue inside every block of stone?

obesity

Autobiography is only to be trusted 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.

autobiography defeat

Serious sport has nothing to do with fair play. It is bound up with hatred, jealousy, boastfulness, disregard of all rules and sadistic pleasure in witnessing violence: in other words it is war minus the shooting.
— George Orwell

sports

Serious sport has nothing to do with fair play.  It is bound up with hatred, jealousy, boastfulness, disregard of all rules and sadistic pleasure in witnessing violence: in other words, it is war minus the shooting.

sports

Writing a book is a horrible, exhausting struggle, like a long bout of 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.

writing

The great enemy of clear language is insincerity.  When there is a gap between one's real and one's declared aims, one turns as it were instinctively to long words and exhausted idioms, like a cuttlefish squirting out ink.

language

High sentiments always win in the end. The leaders who offer blood, toil, tears and sweat always get more out of their followers than those who offer safety and a good time. When it comes to the pinch, human beings are heroic.

leadership heroism

Never again will you be capable of ordinary human feeling.  Everything will be dead inside you.  Never again will you be capable of love, or friendship, or joy of living, or curiosity, or courage, or integrity.  You will be hollow.  We shall squeeze you empty and then we shall fill you with ourselves.

torture

Serious sport has nothing to do with fair play. It is bound up with hatred, jealousy, boastfulness, disregard of all rules and sadistic pleasure in witnessing violence: in other words, it is war minus the shooting ... there are quite enough real causes of trouble already, and we need not add to them by encouraging young men to kick each other on the shins amid the roars of infuriated spectators.
— George Orwell

sports

I think the following rules will cover most cases:
1. Never use a metaphor, simile, or other figure of speech which you are used to seeing in print.
2. Never use a long word where a short one will do.
3. If it is possible to cut a word out, always cut it out.
4. Never use the passive where you can use the active.
5. Never use a foreign phrase, a scientific word, or a jargon word if you can think of an everyday English equivalent.
6. Break any of these rules sooner than say anything outright barbarous.
— George Orwell

writing

One ought to recognize that the present political chaos is connected with the decay of language, and that one can probably bring about some improvement by starting at the verbal end. If you simplify your English, you are freed from the worst follies of orthodoxy. You cannot speak any of the necessary dialects, and when you make a stupid remark, its stupidity will be obvious, even to yourself. Political language—and with variations this is true of all political parties, from Conservatives to Anarchists—is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind. One cannot change this all in a moment, but one can at least change one's own habits, and from time to time, one can even, if one jeers loudly enough, send some worn-out and useless phrase—some jackboot, Achilles' heel, hotbed, melting pot, acid test, veritable inferno or other lump of verbal refuse—into the dustbin where it belongs.
— George Orwell

politics language