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

The most baffling thing in the Spanish war was the behavior of the great powers. The war was actually won for Franco by the Germans and Italians, whose motives were obvious enough. The motives of France and Britain are less easy to understand. In 1936 it was clear to everyone that if Britain would only help the Spanish Government, even to the extent of a few million pounds’ worth of arms, Franco would collapse and German strategy would be severely dislocated. By that time one did not need to be a clairvoyant to foresee that war between Britain and Germany was coming; one could even foretell within a year or two when it would come. Yet in the most mean, cowardly, hypocritical way the British ruling class did all they could to hand Spain over to Franco and the Nazis. Why? Because they were pro-Fascist, was the obvious answer. Undoubtedly they were, and yet when it came to the final showdown they chose to stand up to Germany. It is still very uncertain what plan they acted on in backing Franco, and they may have had no clear plan at all. Whether the British ruling class are wicked or merely stupid is one of the most difficult questions of our time, and at certain moments a very important question.

The past is whatever the records and the memories agree upon.

The slogan of all despotisms was Thou shalt not do this or that. The voice command of the totalitarians was: You will do this or that. Our order is: You

The word Fascism has now no meaning except in so far as it signifies "something not desirable". The words democracy, socialism, freedom, patriotic, realistic, justice have each of them several different meanings which cannot be reconciled with one another. In the case of a word like democracy, not only is there no agreed definition, but the attempt to make one is resisted from all sides. It is almost universally felt that when we call a country democratic we are praising it: consequently the defenders of every kind of regime claim that it is a democracy, and fear that they might have to stop using that word if it were tied down to any one meaning. Words of this kind are often used in a consciously dishonest way. That is, the person who uses them has his own private definition, but allows his hearer to think he means something quite different. Statements like Marshal Petain was a true patriot, The Soviet press is the freest in the world, The Catholic Church is opposed to persecution, are almost always made with intent to deceive. Other words used in variable meanings, in most cases more or less dishonestly, are: class, totalitarian, science, progressive, reactionary, bourgeois, equality.

There is a geographical element in all belief-saying what seem profound truths in India have a way of seeming enormous platitudes in England, and vice versa. Perhaps the fundamental difference is that beneath a tropical sun individuality seems less distinct and the loss of it less important.

They carried on a curious intermittent conversation which flicked on and off like the beams of a lighthouse suddenly nipped into silence by the approach of a Party uniform or the proximity of a telescreen then taken up again minutes later in the middle of a sentence then abruptly cut short as they parted at the agreed spot then continued almost without introduction on the following day.

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.

To die hating them [the Party], that was freedom.

The most bitter insult one can offer to a Londoner is "bastard" — which, taken for what it means, is hardly an insult at all.

The past was alterable. The past never had been altered. Oceania was at war with East Asia. Oceania had always been at war with East Asia.

The smell of her hair, the taste of her mouth, the feeling of her skin seemed to have got inside him, or into the air all round him. She had become a physical necessity.

The words kept coming back to him, statement of a mystical truth and a palpable absurdity.

There is hardly such a thing as a war in which it makes no difference who wins. Nearly always one side stands more of less for progress, the other side more or less for reaction.

They could analyze and put on paper, in detail, everything that he had done, he had said, and had thought, but the intimacy of the heart, whose workings is largely a mystery even to those who owns it, remained impregnable.

This process of continuous alteration was applied not only to newspapers, but to books, periodicals, pamphlets, posters, leaflets, films, sound-tracks, cartoons, photographs—to every kind of literature or documentation which might conceivably hold any political or ideological significance. Day by day and almost minute by minute the past was brought up to date.

To dislike a writer’s politics is one thing. To dislike him because he forces you to think is another, not necessarily incompatible with the first.

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

The planting of a tree, especially one of the long-living hardwood trees, is a gift which you can make to posterity at almost no cost and with almost no trouble, and if the tree takes root it will far outlive the visible effect of any of your other actions, good or evil.

The Spanish war and other events in 1936-7 turned the scale and thereafter I knew where I stood. Every line of serious work that I have written since 1936 has been written, directly or indirectly, against totalitarianism and for democratic Socialism, as I understand it. It seems to me nonsense, in a period like our own, to think that one can avoid writing of such subjects.

The world sleeps peaceably in their beds while rough men practice violence on their behalf.

There is no crime, absolutely none, that cannot be condoned when 'our' side commits it.

They could be made to accept the most flagrant violations of reality, because they never fully grasped the enormity of what was demanded of them, and were not sufficiently interested in public events to notice what was happening

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

To exchange one orthodoxy for another is not necessarily an advance. The enemy is the gramophone mind, whether or not one agrees with the record that is being played at the moment.

The mute protest in your own bones.

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"