Title Image - Quotes by Author George Orwell

Welcome to our collection of quotes (with shareable picture quotes) by George Orwell. We hope you enjoy pondering them and that you will share them widely.

Wikipedia Summary for George Orwell

Eric Arthur Blair (25 June 1903 – 21 January 1950), known by his pen name George Orwell, was an English essayist, journalist and critic. His work is characterised by lucid prose, biting social criticism, opposition to totalitarianism, and outspoken support of democratic socialism.\n\nAs a writer, Orwell produced literary criticism and poetry, fiction and polemical journalism; and is best known for the allegorical novella Animal Farm (1945) and the dystopian novel Nineteen Eighty-Four (1949). His non-fiction works, including The Road to Wigan Pier (1937), documenting his experience of working-class life in the north of England, and Homage to Catalonia (1938), an account of his experiences soldiering for the Republican faction of the Spanish Civil War (1936–1939), are as critically respected as his essays on politics and literature, language and culture. In 2008, The Times ranked George Orwell second among "The 50 greatest British writers since 1945".

Orwell's work remains influential in popular culture and in political culture, and the adjective "Orwellian"—describing totalitarian and authoritarian social practices—is part of the English language, like many of his neologisms, such as "Big Brother", "Thought Police", "Two Minutes Hate", "Room 101", "memory hole", "Newspeak", "doublethink", "proles", "unperson", and "thoughtcrime".

At age fifty, every man has the face he deserves.

--George Orwell

The hospital is the antechamber to the tomb.

--George Orwell

Manchester is the belly and guts of the nation.

--George Orwell

Our windmill was ruined. Our spirits were at their lowest. But, Napoleon seemed... triumphant.

--George Orwell

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.

--George Orwell

Bad writers are nearly always haunted by the notion that Latin or Greek words are grander than Saxon ones.

--George Orwell

A liberal is a power worshipper without the power.

--George Orwell

One of the most horrible features of war is that all the war-propaganda, all the screaming and lies and hatred, comes invariably from people who are not fighting.

--George Orwell

All animals are equal but some are more equal than others.

--George Orwell

According to Buddhist belief, those who have done evil in their lives will spend the next incarntation in the shape of a rat, a frog or some other low animal.

--George Orwell

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

--George Orwell

Pacifism is objectively pro-Fascist.

--George Orwell

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

--George Orwell

Perhaps the aim of Socialism is not to make the world perfect but to make it better.

--George Orwell

If you hate violence and don't believe in politics, the only major remedy remaining is education.

--George Orwell

What is peculiar to our own age is the abandonment of the idea that history could be told truthfully.

--George Orwell

If I had understood the situation a bit better I should probably have joined the Anarchists.

--George Orwell

The mind should develop a blind spot whenever a dangerous thought presented itself. The process should be automatic, instinctive. Crimestop, they called it in Newspeak.

--George Orwell

An earthquake is such fun when it is over.

--George Orwell

Circus dogs jump when the trainer cracks his whip, but the really well-trained dog is the one that turns his somersault when there is no whip.

--George Orwell

Don't you see that the whole aim of newspeak is to narrow the range of thought?

--George Orwell

To accept civilization as it is practically means accepting decay.

--George Orwell

But what a way to do things-never to perform a decent action until you are kicked into it and the rest of the world has ceased to believe that your motives can possibly be honest.

--George Orwell

If men would behave decently, the world would be decent.

--George Orwell

In the better light of the living room he noticed with interest that there actually was dust in the creases of her face.

--George Orwell

With its grace and carelessness, it seemed to annihilate a whole culture, a whole system of thought, as though all could be swept into a nothingness by a single splendid movement of the arm.

--George Orwell

No one, at any rate no English writer, has written better about childhood than Dickens. In spite of all the knowledge that has accumulated since, in spite of the fact that children are now comparatively sanely treated, no novelist has shown the same power of entering into the child's point of view.

--George Orwell

One does not
establish a dictatorship in order to safeguard a revolution;
one makes the revolution in order to establish the dictator-
ship. The object of persecution is persecution. The object of
torture is torture. The object of power is power.

--George Orwell

He would say that God had given him a tail to keep the flies off, but that he would sooner have had no tail and no flies.

--George Orwell

The fallacy is to believe that under a dictatorial government you can be free inside.

--George Orwell

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

--George Orwell

Few people have the guts to say outright that art and propaganda are the same thing.

--George Orwell

As for queueing-up, during the past five or ten years it has become what the psychologists call a conditioned reflex. If you put a dozen English people together, they form themselves into a queue almost instinctively.

--George Orwell

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.

--George Orwell

Everything faded into mist. The past was erased, the erasure was forgotten, the lie became truth.

--George Orwell

For it is the condition of his rule that he shall spend his life trying to impress the 'natives,' and so in every crisis he has got to do what the 'natives' expect of him... A sahib has got to act like a sahib; he has got to appear resolute, to know his own mind and do definite things.

--George Orwell

Free speech is my right to say what you don't want to hear.

--George Orwell

Empire --  in essence nothing but mechanisms for exploiting coloured labor.

--George Orwell

The problem was how to keep the wheels of industry turning without increasing the real wealth of the world. Goods must be produced, but they must not be distributed.

--George Orwell

Longer Version:

The problem was how to keep the wheels of industry turning without increasing the real wealth of the world. Goods must be produced, but they must not be distributed. And in practice the only way of achieving this was by continuous warfare.


To accept an unorthodoxy is always to inherit unresolved contradictions.

--George Orwell

They can't get inside you,' she had said. But they could get inside you.

--George Orwell

It England is a family in which the young are generally thwarted and most of the power is in the hands of irresponsible uncles and bedridden aunts.

--George Orwell

His eye fell upon the aspidistra. Two years he had inhabited this vile room; two mortal years in which nothing had been accomplished.

--George Orwell

When I joined the militia I had promised myself to kill one Fascist -- after all, if each of us killed one they would soon be extinct.

--George Orwell

During the first two months of the war it was the Anarchists more than anyone else who had saved the situation, and much later than this the Anarchist militia, in spite of their indiscipline, were notoriously the best fighters among the purely Spanish forces.

--George Orwell

It is brought home to you...that it is only because miners sweat their guts out that superior persons can remain superior.

--George Orwell

You preferred to be a lunatic, a minority of one.

--George Orwell

Let's face it: our lives are miserable, laborious, and short.

--George Orwell

Now, comrades, what is the nature of this life of ours? Let us face it: our lives are miserable, laborious, and short.

--George Orwell

Beauty is meaningless until it is shared.

--George Orwell

We sleep peaceably in our beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on our behalf.

--George Orwell

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.

--George Orwell

Anyone who challenges the prevailing orthodoxy finds himself silenced with surprising effectiveness. A genuinely unfashionable opinion is almost never given a fair hearing.

--George Orwell

People invent new machines and improve existing ones almost unconsciously, rather as a Somnambulist will go walking in his sleep. The interesting puzzle in our times is that we so willingly sleepwalk through the process of reconstituting the conditions of human existence.

--George Orwell

A man may take to drink because he feels himself a failure, but then fail all the more completely because he drinks.

--George Orwell

But of course it was an American paper. The Americans always go one better on any kinds of beastliness, whether it is ice-cream soda, racketeering, or theosophy.

--George Orwell

You are imagining that there is something called human nature which will be outraged by what we do and will turn against us. But we create human nature. Men are infinitely malleable.

--George Orwell

Between pigs and human beings there was not and there need not be any clash of interest whatsoever.

--George Orwell

Patriotism has nothing to do with Conservatism. It is actually the opposite of Conservatism, since it is a devotion to something that is always changing and yet is felt to be mystically the same.

--George Orwell

Then he suddenly lifted his leg, urinated over the plans, and walked out without uttering a word.

--George Orwell

Real journalism is publishing something that somebody else does not want published -- the rest is just public relations.

--George Orwell

All art is propaganda.

--George Orwell

The four great motives for writing prose are sheer egoism, esthetic enthusiasm, historical impulse, and political purpose.

--George Orwell

News is something somebody doesn't want printed; all else is advertising.

--George Orwell

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

--George Orwell

If large numbers of people believe in freedom of speech, there will be freedom of speech, even if the law forbids it. But if public opinion is sluggish, inconvenient minorities will be persecuted, even if laws exist to protect them.

--George Orwell

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

--George Orwell

The only evidence to the contrary was the mute protest in your own bones, the instinctive feeling that the conditions you lived in were intolerable and that at some other time they must have been different.

--George Orwell

It is deliberate policy to keep even the favoured groups somewhere near the brink of hardship, because a general state of scarcity increases the importance of small privileges and thus magnifies the distinction between one group and another.

--George Orwell

After all, that is what the merely casual onlooker always sees -- the outward appearance, the non-functional, the surfaces of things. No one who is really involved in the landscape ever sees the landscape.

--George Orwell

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 .

--George Orwell

You want a picture of the future? Imagine a boot trampling a human face.. forever. The moral to be drawn from this nightmarish situation is simple: Don't let it happen. It depends on you.

--George Orwell

Lack of money means discomfort, means squalid worries, means shortage of tobacco, means ever-present consciousness of failure-above all, it means loneliness.

--George Orwell

Don't you enjoy being alive? Don't you like feeling: This is me, this is my hand, this is my leg, I'm real, I'm solid, I'm alive! Don't you like this?

--George Orwell

Totalitarianism, if not fought against, could triumph anywhere.

--George Orwell

All propaganda is lies, even when one is telling the truth.

--George Orwell

If he thinks he floats off the floor, and if I simultaneously think I see him do it, then the thing happens.

--George Orwell

Orthodoxy is the ability to say two and two make five when faith requires it.

--George Orwell

The stuff was like nitric acid, and moreover, in swallowing it one had the sensation of being hit on the back of the head with a rubber club.

--George Orwell

A Socialist United States of Europe seems to me the only worth-while political objective today.

--George Orwell

I knew that I had a facility with words and a power of facing unpleasant facts, and I felt that this created a sort of private world in which I could get my own back for my failure in everyday life.

--George Orwell

There is always one escape: into wickedness.

--George Orwell

Looking at the world as a whole, the drift for many decades has been not towards anarchy but towards the reimposition of slavery. We may be heading not for general breakdown but for an epoch as horribly stable as the slave empires of antiquity.

--George Orwell

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

--George Orwell

I believe that the BBC, in spite of the stupidity of its foreign propaganda and the unbearable voices of its announcers, is very truthful. It is generally regarded here as more reliable than the press.

--George Orwell

Tragedy, he precieved, belonged to the ancient time, to a time when there were still privacy, love, and friendship, and when the members of a family stood by one another without needing to know the reason.

--George Orwell

Autobiography is only to be trusted when it reveals something disgraceful.

--George Orwell

They clichés will construct your sentences for you -- even think your thoughts for you, to a certain extent -- and at need they will perform the important service of partially concealing your meaning even from yourself.

--George Orwell

And the bigger the fall, the bigger the joke. It would be better fun to throw a custard pie at a bishop than at a curate.

--George Orwell

Envy is a horrible thing. It is unlike all other kinds of suffering in that there is no disguising it, no elevating it into tragedy. It is more than merely painful, it is disgusting.

--George Orwell

Threats to freedom of speech, writing and action, though often trivial in isolation, are cumulative in their effect and, unless checked, lead to a general disrespect for the rights of the citizen.

--George Orwell

Dickens seems to have succeeded in attacking everybody and antagonizing nobody.

--George Orwell

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