George Orwell, pen name of Eric Arthur Blair

George
Orwell, pen name of Eric Arthur Blair
1903
1950

English Author and Journalist, known for books "Animal Farm", and "Nineteen Eighty Four"

Author Quotes

Two gin-scented tears trickled down the sides of his nose. But it was all right, everything was all right, the struggle was finished. He had won the victory over himself. He loved Big Brother.

We are the dead. Our only true life is in the future. We shall take part in it as handfuls of dust and splinters of bone. But how far away that future may be, there is no knowing. It might be a thousand years. At present nothing is possible except to extend the area of sanity little by little. We cannot act collectively. We can only spread our knowledge outwards from individual to individual, generation after generation. In the face of the Thought Police there is no other way.

Wealth and privilege are most easily defended when they are possessed jointly. The so-called ‘abolition of private property’ which took place in the middle years of the century meant, in effect, the concentration of property in far fewer hands than before: but with this difference, that the new owners were a group instead of a mass of individuals.

When I think of antiquity, the detail that frightens me is that those hundreds of millions of slaves on whose backs civilization rested generation after generation have left behind them no record whatever. We do not even know their names. In the whole of Greek and Roman history, how many slaves' names are known to you? I can think of two, or possibly three. One is Spartacus and the other is Epictetus. Also, in the Roman room at the British Museum there is a glass jar with the maker's name inscribed on the bottom, 'FELIX FECIT'. I have a mental picture of poor Felix (a Gaul with red hair and a metal collar round his neck), but in fact he may not have been a slave; so there are only two slaves whose names I definitely know, and probably few people can remember more. The rest have gone down into utter silence.

Why was it that they could never shout like that about something that mattered?

You are a slow learner, Winston. How can I help it? How can I help but see what is in front of my eyes? Two and two are four. Sometimes, Winston. Sometimes they are five. Sometimes they are three. Sometimes they are all of them at once. You must try harder. It is not easy to become sane.

You would not make the act of submission which is the price of sanity.

To say I accept in an age like our own is to say that you accept concentration-camps, rubber truncheons, Hitler, Stalin, bombs, aeroplanes, tinned food, machine guns, putsches, purges, slogans, Bedaux belts, gas-masks, submarines, spies, provocateurs, press-censorship, secret prisons, aspirins, Hollywood films and political murder.

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

We are told that it is only people’s objective actions that matter and their subjective feelings are of no importance. Thus pacifists, by obstructing the war effort, are ‘objectively’ aiding the Nazis; and therefore the fact that they may be personally hostile to Fascism is irrelevant. I have been guilty of saying this myself more than once. The same argument is applied toTrotskyism… To criticize the Soviet Union helps Hitler: therefore "Trotskyism is Fascism". And when this has been established, the accusation of conscious treachery is usually repeated. This is not only dishonest; it also carries a severe penalty with it. If you disregard people’s motives, it becomes much harder to foresee their actions. For there are occasions when even the most misguided person can see the results of what he is doing... The important thing is to discover which individuals are honest and which are not, and the usual blanket accusation merely makes this more difficult. The atmosphere of hatred in which controversy is conducted blinds people to considerations of this kind. To admit that an opponent might be both honest and intelligent is felt to be intolerable. It is more immediately satisfying to shout that he is a fool or a scoundrel, or both, than to find out what he is really like. It is this habit of mind, among other things, that has made political prediction in our time so remarkably unsuccessful.

What can the England of 1940 have in common with the England of 1840? But then, what have you in common with the child of five whose photograph your mother keeps on the mantelpiece? Nothing, except that you happen to be the same person.

When I was young and had no sense in far-off Mandalay I lost my heart to a Burmese girl as lovely as the day. Her skin was gold, her hair was jet, her teeth were ivory; I said, For twenty silver pieces, maiden, sleep with me. She looked at me, so pure, so sad, the loveliest thing alive, and in her lisping, virgin voice, stood out for twenty-five.

Windmill or no windmill, he said, life would go on as it had always gone on--that is, badly.

You asked me once,' said O'Brien, 'what was in Room 101. I told you that you knew the answer already. Everyone knows it. The thing that is in Room 101 is the worst thing in the world.

Your mother was a kind of nobility only by the fact governed by private rules. Her feelings were really his and not the state have sent him.

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

Until one has some kind of professional relationship with books, one does not discover how bad the majority of them are.

We crawled up to bed, tumbled down half dressed, and stayed there ten hours. Most of my Saturday nights went like this. On the whole, the two hours when one was perfectly and wildly happy seemed worth the subsequent headache. For many men in the quarter, unmarried and with no future to think of, the weekly drinking-bout was the one thing that made life worth living.

What can you do against the lunatic who is more intelligent than yourself, who gives your arguments a fair hearing and then simply persists in his lunacy?

When it comes to the pinch, human beings are heroic.

Winston Churchill could not definitely remember a time when his country had not been at war.

You can get anything in this world if you genuinely don't want it.

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

To survive it is often necessary to fight and to fight you have to dirty yourself.

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

Author Picture
First Name
George
Last Name
Orwell, pen name of Eric Arthur Blair
Birth Date
1903
Death Date
1950
Bio

English Author and Journalist, known for books "Animal Farm", and "Nineteen Eighty Four"