Best quotes by the British Author George Orwell

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

During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act.
  • Truth

All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.
  • Equality

The main motive for nonattachment is a desire to escape from the pain of living, and above all from love, which, sexual or non-sexual, is hard work.
  • Poverty



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

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

So much of left-wing thought is a kind of playing with fire by people who don't even know that fire is hot.
  • Fanaticism

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

Who controls the past controls the future: who controls the present controls the past.
  • Past

Enlightened people seldom or never possess a sense of responsibility.
  • Responsibility

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

Perhaps one did not want to be loved so much as to be understood.
  • truth

A liberal is a power worshipper without the power.
  • Liberalism

Myths which are believed in tend to become true.
  • Myths

For a creative writer possession of the truth is less important than emotional sincerity.
  • Authors

Not to expose your true feelings to an adult seems to be instinctive from the age of seven or eight onwards.
  • Sincerity

As with the Christian religion, the worst advertisement for Socialism is its adherents.
  • adherents

WAR IS PEACE, FREEDOM IS SLAVERY, IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH.
  • peace

Whoever is winning at the moment will always seem to be invincible.
  • Success

To see what is in front of one's nose requires a constant struggle.
  • Coffee

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

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

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

Big Brother is watching you.
  • big

Each generation imagines itself to be more intelligent than the one that went before it, and wiser than the one that comes after it.
  • comes

You sleep safe in your beds because rough men stand ready in the night to visit violence on those who would do you harm.
  • Security

The very concept of objective truth is fading out of the world. Lies will pass into history.
  • concept

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

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

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


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George Orwell Quotes About

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George Orwell war quotes

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War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength.
  • freedom

War is war. The only good human being is a dead one.
  • being

The quickest way of ending a war is to lose it.
  • War

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.
  • act

War against a foreign country only happens when the moneyed classes think they are going to profit from it.
  • against

The essential act of war is destruction, not necessarily of human lives, but of the products of human labor.
  • act

War is a way of shattering to pieces... materials which might otherwise be used to make the masses too comfortable and... too intelligent.
  • comfortable

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

Serious sport is war minus the shooting.
  • minus

War is evil, but it is often the lesser evil.
  • evil

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

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.
  • difference

War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength.
  • freedom

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George Orwell writing quotes

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For a creative writer possession of the truth is less important than emotional sincerity.
  • Authors

Good novels are not written by orthodoxy-sniffers, nor by people who are conscience-stricken about their own orthodoxy. Good novels are written by people who are not frightened.
  • Authors

I did try very hard to tell the whole truth without violating my literary instincts.
  • Authors

Gordon eyed them with inert hatred. At this moment he hated all books, and novels most of all. Horrible to think of all that soggy, half-baked trash massed together in one place.
  • life

A scrupulous writer in every sentence that he writes will ask himself. . . What am I trying to say? What words will express it?...And he probably asks himself. . . Could I put it more shortly? But you are not obliged to go to all this trouble. You can shirk it by simply throwing open your mind and letting the ready-made phrases come crowding in. They will construct your sentences for you
  • Authors

All writers are vain, selfish and lazy, and at the very bottom of their motives lies a mystery. Writing a book is a long, exhausting struggle, like a long bout of some painful illness. One would never undertake such a thing if one were not driven by some demon whom one can neither resist nor understand.
  • Authors

In our time political speech and writing are largely the defense of the indefensible.
  • defense

Good writing is like a windowpane.
  • writing

He was conscious of nothing except the blankness of the page in front of him, the itching of the skin above his ankle, the blaring of the music, and a slight booziness caused by the gin.
  • writing

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.
  • writing

A scrupulous writer, in every sentence that he writes, will ask himself at least four questions, thus: 1. What am I trying to say? 2. What words will express it? 3. What image or idiom will make it clearer? 4. Is this image fresh enough to have an effect?
  • writing

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George Orwell language quotes

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

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

But if thought corrupts language, language can also corrupt thought.
  • corrupt

Political chaos is connected with the decay of language... one can probably bring about some improvement by starting at the verbal end.
  • bring

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 spurting out ink.
  • Language

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.
  • aims

To write or even speak English is not a science but an art. There are no reliable words. Whoever writes English is involved in a struggle that never lets up even for a sentence. He is struggling against vagueness, against obscurity, against the lure of the decorative adjective, against the encroachment of Latin and Greek, and, above all, against the worn-out phrases and dead metaphors with which the language is cluttered up.
  • Language

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

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George Orwell intelligent quotes

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Each generation imagines itself to be more intelligent than the one that went before it, and wiser than the one that comes after it.
  • comes

The Catholic and the Communist are alike in assuming that an opponent cannot be both honest and intelligent.
  • alike

Sometimes the first duty of intelligent men is the restatement of the obvious.
  • duty

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?
  • against

There are some ideas so wrong that only a very intelligent person could believe in them.
  • intelligence

War is a way of shattering to pieces... materials which might otherwise be used to make the masses too comfortable and... too intelligent.
  • comfortable

We have now sunk to a depth at which restatement of the obvious is the first duty of intelligent men.
  • intelligence

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George Orwell authors quotes

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For a creative writer possession of the truth is less important than emotional sincerity.
  • Authors

Good novels are not written by orthodoxy-sniffers, nor by people who are conscience-stricken about their own orthodoxy. Good novels are written by people who are not frightened.
  • Authors

I did try very hard to tell the whole truth without violating my literary instincts.
  • Authors

A scrupulous writer in every sentence that he writes will ask himself. . . What am I trying to say? What words will express it?...And he probably asks himself. . . Could I put it more shortly? But you are not obliged to go to all this trouble. You can shirk it by simply throwing open your mind and letting the ready-made phrases come crowding in. They will construct your sentences for you
  • Authors

All writers are vain, selfish and lazy, and at the very bottom of their motives lies a mystery. Writing a book is a long, exhausting struggle, like a long bout of some painful illness. One would never undertake such a thing if one were not driven by some demon whom one can neither resist nor understand.
  • Authors

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More quotes by George Orwell

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The Catholic and the Communist are alike in assuming that an opponent cannot be both honest and intelligent.
  • alike

Sometimes the first duty of intelligent men is the restatement of the obvious.
  • duty

The essence of being human is that one does not seek perfection.
  • being

War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength.
  • freedom



Four legs good, two legs bad.
  • Animals

To accept civilization as it is practically means accepting decay.
  • Civilization

No one can look back on his schooldays and say with truth that they were altogether unhappy.
  • Education

On the whole, human beings want to be good, but not too good, and not quite all the time.
  • Goodness

But if thought corrupts language, language can also corrupt thought.
  • corrupt

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?
  • against

If you want a vision of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face - forever.
  • imagination

Whatever is funny is subversive, every joke is ultimately a custard pie... a dirty joke is a sort of mental rebellion.
  • custard

Patriotism is usually stronger than class hatred, and always stronger than internationalism.
  • patriotism

Men can only be happy when they do not assume that the object of life is happiness
  • Happiness

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

Political speech and writing are largely the defense of the indefensible.
  • Politics

Political language is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable and to give an appearance of solidarity to pure wind.
  • Speeches

In our age there is no such thing as 'keeping out of politics.' All issues are political issues, and politics itself is a mass of lies, evasions, folly, hatred and schizophrenia.
  • age

He was an embittered atheist (the sort of atheist who does not so much disbelieve in God as personally dislike Him).
  • Atheism

Early in life I had noticed that no event is ever correctly reported in a newspaper.
  • News

War is war. The only good human being is a dead one.
  • being

But the thing that I saw in your face no power can disinherit: No bomb that ever burst shatters the crystal spirit.
  • Spirituality

There are some ideas so wrong that only a very intelligent person could believe in them.
  • intelligence

All animals are equalBut some animals are more equal than others

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.
  • Power

The quickest way of ending a war is to lose it.
  • War

The intellectual is different from the ordinary man, but only in certain sections of his personality, and even then not all the time.
  • certain

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.
  • act

War against a foreign country only happens when the moneyed classes think they are going to profit from it.
  • against

Good novels are not written by orthodoxy-sniffers, nor by people who are conscience-stricken about their own orthodoxy. Good novels are written by people who are not frightened.
  • Authors

I did try very hard to tell the whole truth without violating my literary instincts.
  • Authors

Progress is not an illusion, it happens, but it is slow and invariably disappointing.
  • Progress

One cannot really be a Catholic and grown up.
  • Religion

By revolution we become more ourselves, not less.
  • Revolution

Political chaos is connected with the decay of language... one can probably bring about some improvement by starting at the verbal end.
  • bring

Liberal: a power worshipper without power.
  • liberal

The essential act of war is destruction, not necessarily of human lives, but of the products of human labor.
  • act

Many people genuinely do not want to be saints, and it is probable that some who achieve or aspire to sainthood have never felt much temptation to be human beings.
  • achieve

As I write, highly civilized human beings are flying overhead, trying to kill me.
  • beings

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.
  • Books

No advance in wealth, no softening of manners, no reform or revolution has ever brought human equality a millimeter nearer.
  • Equality

We may find in the long run that tinned food is a deadlier weapon than the machine-gun.
  • Food

History has to move in a certain direction, even if it has to be pushed that way by neurotics.
  • History

He who controls the past commands the future. He who commands the future conquers the past.
  • Past

War is a way of shattering to pieces... materials which might otherwise be used to make the masses too comfortable and... too intelligent.
  • comfortable

He who controls the past controls the future. He who controls the present controls the past.
  • inspirational

At 50, everyone has the face he deserves.
  • age

One can love a child, perhaps, more deeply than one can love another adult, but it is rash to assume that the child feels any love in return.
  • Children

To walk through the ruined cities of Germany is to feel an actual doubt about the continuity of civilization.
  • Defeat

I sometimes think that the price of liberty is not so much eternal vigilance as eternal dirt.
  • Freedom

Nationalism is power hunger tempered by self-deception.
  • Nation

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

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

Advertising is the rattling of a stick inside a swill bucket.
  • advertising

It is also true that one can write nothing readable unless one constantly struggles to efface one's own personality. Good prose is like a windowpane.
  • constantly

We have now sunk to a depth at which restatement of the obvious is the first duty of intelligent men.
  • intelligence

The nationalist not only does not disapprove of atrocities committed by his own side, but he has a remarkable capacity for not even hearing about them.
  • atrocities

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

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

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 spurting out ink.
  • Language

Part of the reason for the ugliness of adults, in a child's eyes, is that the child is usually looking upwards, and few faces are at their best when seen from below.
  • Maturity

Progress and reaction have both turned out to be swindles. Seemingly, there is nothing left but quietism -- robbing reality of its terrors by simply submitting to it.
  • Slavery

Society has always seemed to demand a little more from human beings than it will get in practice.
  • Society

Men are only as good as their technical development allows them to be.
  • Technology

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

A family with the wrong members in control; that, perhaps, is as near as one can come to describing England in a phrase.
  • come

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.
  • aims

In a time of universal deceit - telling the truth is a revolutionary act.
  • truth

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

Serious sport is war minus the shooting.
  • minus

War is evil, but it is often the lesser evil.
  • evil

It's a beautiful thing, the destruction of words.
  • absurd

Gordon eyed them with inert hatred. At this moment he hated all books, and novels most of all. Horrible to think of all that soggy, half-baked trash massed together in one place.
  • life

He was alone with seven thousand books...mostly aged and unsaleable.
  • life

Mrs Weaver nosed among the books, too dim-witted to grasp that they were in alphabetical order.
  • life

If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face—for ever.
  • future

For the ordinary man is passive. Within a narrow circle (home life, and perhaps the trade unions or local politics) he feels himself master of his fate, but against major events he is as helpless as against the elements. So far from endeavoring to influence the future, he simply lies down and lets things happen to him.
  • Acceptance

A scrupulous writer in every sentence that he writes will ask himself. . . What am I trying to say? What words will express it?...And he probably asks himself. . . Could I put it more shortly? But you are not obliged to go to all this trouble. You can shirk it by simply throwing open your mind and letting the ready-made phrases come crowding in. They will construct your sentences for you
  • Authors

All writers are vain, selfish and lazy, and at the very bottom of their motives lies a mystery. Writing a book is a long, exhausting struggle, like a long bout of some painful illness. One would never undertake such a thing if one were not driven by some demon whom one can neither resist nor understand.
  • Authors

If you have embraced a creed which appears to be free from the ordinary dirtiness of politics --a creed from which you yourself cannot expect to draw any material advantage --surely that proves that you are in the right?
  • Belief

We of the sinking middle class may sink without further struggles into the working class where we belong, and probably when we get there it will not be so dreadful as we feared, for, after all, we have nothing to lose.
  • Class

Prolonged, indiscriminate reviewing of books is a quite exceptionally thankless, irritating and exhausting job. It not only involves praising trash but constantly inventing reactions towards books about which one has no spontaneous feeling whatever.
  • Criticism

Probably the battle of Waterloo was won on the playing-fields of Eton, but the opening battles of all subsequent wars have been lost there.
  • Education

The 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.
  • HeroesHeroism

One of the effects of a safe and civilized life is an immense oversensitiveness which makes all the primary emotions somewhat disgusting. Generosity is as painful as meanness, gratitude as hateful as ingratitude.
  • Kindness

To write or even speak English is not a science but an art. There are no reliable words. Whoever writes English is involved in a struggle that never lets up even for a sentence. He is struggling against vagueness, against obscurity, against the lure of the decorative adjective, against the encroachment of Latin and Greek, and, above all, against the worn-out phrases and dead metaphors with which the language is cluttered up.
  • Language

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.
  • Legacy

To a surprising extent the war-lords in shining armor, the apostles of the martial virtues, tend not to die fighting when the time comes. History is full of ignominious getaways by the great and famous.
  • Military

The atom bombs are piling up in the factories, the police are prowling through the cities, the lies are streaming from the loudspeakers, but the earth is still going round the sun.
  • Modern

The girl with dark hair was coming towards them across the field. With what seemed a single movement she tore off her clothes and flung them disdainfully aside. Her body was white and smooth, but it aroused no desire in him, indeed he barely looked at it. What overwhelmed him in that instant was admiration for the gesture with which she had thrown her clothes aside. With its grace and carelessness it seemed to annihilate a whole culture, a whole system of thought, as though Big Brother and the Party and the Thought Police could all be swept into nothingness by a single splendid movement of the arm.
  • Nudity

The essence of being human is that one does not seek perfection, that one is sometimes willing to commit sins for the sake of loyalty, that one does not push asceticism to the point where it makes friendly intercourse impossible, and that one is prepared in the end to be defeated and broken up by life, which is the inevitable price of fastening one's love upon other human individuals.
  • Perfection

All political thinking for years past has been vitiated in the same way. People can foresee the future only when it coincides with their own wishes, and the most grossly obvious facts can be ignored when they are unwelcome.
  • Politics

Power-worship blurs political judgment because it leads, almost unavoidably, to the belief that present trends will continue. Whoever is winning at the moment will always seem to be invincible.
  • Power

The books one reads in childhood, and perhaps most of all the bad and good bad books, create in one's mind a sort of false map of the world, a series of fabulous countries into which one can retreat at odd moments throughout the rest of life...
  • Reading

Most revolutionaries are potential Tories, because they imagine that everything can be put right by altering the shape of society; once that change is effected, as it sometimes is, they see no need for any other.
  • Revolution

Kipling sees clearly that men can only be highly civilized while other men, inevitably less civilised, are there to guard and feed them.
  • Security

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

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.
  • Trouble

One does not establish a dictatorship in order to safeguard a revolution; one makes a revolution in order to establish a dictatorship.
  • Tyranny

The child thinks of growing old as an almost obscene calamity, which for some mysterious reason will never happen to itself. All who have passed the age of thirty are joyless grotesques, endlessly fussing about things of no importance and staying alive without, so far as the child can see, having anything to live for. Only child life is real life.
  • Youth

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

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.
  • catch

Who controls the past controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past.
  • future

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 the word if it were tied down to any one meaning.
  • almost

In our time political speech and writing are largely the defense of the indefensible.
  • defense

If you have embraced a creed which appears to be free from the ordinary dirtiness of politics - a creed from which you yourself cannot expect to draw any material advantage - surely that proves that you are in the right?
  • advantage

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

The best books... are those that tell you what you know already.
  • already

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.
  • difference

For a creative writer possession of the 'truth' is less important than emotional sincerity.
  • creative

Good writing is like a windowpane.
  • writing

The idea really came to me the day I got my new false teeth.
  • came

He was conscious of nothing except the blankness of the page in front of him, the itching of the skin above his ankle, the blaring of the music, and a slight booziness caused by the gin.
  • writing

It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen.
  • april

A human being is primarily a bag for putting food into; the other functions and faculties may be more godlike, but in point of time they come afterwards. A man dies and is buried, and all his words and actions are forgotten, but the food he has eaten lives after him in the sound or rotten bones of his children. I think it could be plausibly argued that changes of diet are more important than changes of dynasty or even of religion....Yet it is curious how seldom the all-importance of food is recognized. You see statues everywhere to politicians, poets, bishops, but none to cooks or bacon-curers or market gardeners.
  • food

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.
  • writing

War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength.
  • freedom

In a time of deceit telling the truth is a revolutionary act.
  • truth

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

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.
  • animal


Author similar to George Orwell


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