Public opinion is less tolerant than any system of law.
Public opinion, because of the tremendous urge to conformity in gregarious animals, is less tolerant than any system of law.
He hated her because she was young and pretty and sexless,because he wanted to go to bed with her and would never do so .
The whole experience of being hit by a bullet is very interesting and I think worth describing in detail.
The war is waged against its own subjects and its object is not the victory...but to keep the very structure of society intact.
The whole climate of thought will be different. In fact there will be no thought, as we understand it now. Orthodoxy means not thinking -- not needing to think. Orthodoxy is unconsciousness.
As soon as you think of fishing you think of things that don't belong to the modern world. The very idea of sitting all day under a willow tree beside a quiet pool -- and being able to find a quiet pool to sit beside- belongs to a time before the war, before radio, before aeroplanes, before Hitler.
All writers are vain, selfish and lazy, and at the very bottom of their motives lies a mystery.
All writers are vain, selfish, and lazy, and at the very bottom of their motives there lies a mystery. 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. For all one knows that demon is simply the same instinct that makes a baby squall for attention. And yet 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.
If pacifists imagine that one can somehow overcome the German army by lying on one's back, let them go on imagining it, but let them also wonder occasionally whether this is not an illusion due to security, too much money and a simple ignorance of the way in which things actually happen.
No man should be allowed to be the President who does not understand hogs, or hasn't been around a manure pile.
The secret of rulership is to combine a belief in one's own infallibility with a power to learn from past mistakes.
On each landing, opposite the lift shaft, the poster with the enormous face gazed from the wall. It was one of those pictures which are so contrived that the eyes follow you about when you move. BIG BROTHER IS WATCHING YOU, the caption beneath it ran.
The real division is not between conservatives and revolutionaries but between authoritarians and libertarians.
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.
Perhaps a lunatic was simply a minority of one.
Perhaps a lunatic was simply a minority of one. At one time it had been a sign of madness to believe that the Earth goes round the Sun; today, to believe the past is inalterable. He might be alone in holding that belief, and if alone, then a lunatic. But the thought of being a lunatic did not greatly trouble him; the horror was that he might also be wrong.
In certain kinds of writing, particularly in art criticism and literary criticism, it is normal to come across long passages which are almost completely lacking in meaning.
It is unquestionably true that almost any English intellectual would feel more ashamed of standing to attention during 'God save the King' than of stealing from a poor box.
The fact is that every war suffers a kind of progressive degradation with every month that it continues, because such things as individual liberty and a truthful press are simply not compatible with military efficiency.
One sometimes gets the impression that the mere words ' Socialism ' and ' Communism ' draw towards them with magnetic force every fruit-juice drinker, nudist, sandal-wearer, sex-maniac, Quaker, 'Nature Cure' quack, pacifist, and feminist in England.
All nationalistic distinctions -- all claims to be better than somebody else because you have a different-shaped skull or speak a different dialect -- are entirely spurious, but they are important so long as people believe in them.
To hang on from day to day and from week to week, spinning out a present that had no future, seemed an unconquerable instinct, just as one's lungs will always draw the next breath so long as there is air available.
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.
Modern man is rather like a bisected wasp which goes on sucking jam and pretends that the loss of its abdomen does not matter.
If you look for the working classes in fiction, and especially English fiction, all you find is a hole.
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.
In Moulmein, in lower Burma, I was hated by large numbers of people -- the only time in my life that I have been important enough for this to happen to me.
The very word 'war', therefore, has become misleading. It would probably be accurate to say that by becoming continuous war has ceased to exist. ... War is Peace.
It had never occurred to him that the body of a woman of fifty, blown up to monstrous dimensions by childbearing, then hardened, roughened by work til it was coarse in the grain like an overripe turnip, could be beautiful. But is was so, and after all, he thought, why not?
We believe half-instinctively that evil always defeats itself in the long run. Pacifism is founded largely on this belief. Don't resist evil, and it will somehow destroy itself. But why should it? What evidence is there that it does... unless conquered from the outside by military force?
It is quite possible that in only seventy years our population will amount to about eleven millions, over half of whom will be old age pensioners.
And if our book consumption remains as low as it has been, at least let us admit that it is because reading is a less exciting pastime than going to the dogs, the pictures or the pub, and not because books, whether bought or borrowed, are too expensive.
Journalism is printing what someone else does not want printed: everything else is public relations.
As a rule they will refuse even to sample a foreign dish, they regard such things as garlic and olive oil with disgust, life is unliveable to them unless they have tea and puddings.
Prose consists less and less of words chosen for the sake of their meaning, and more and more of phrases tacked together like the sections of a prefabricated hen-house.
The human beings did not hate Animal Farm any less now that it was prospering; indeed, they hated it more than ever.
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.
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?
He Gandhi was not one of those saints who are marked out by their phenomenal piety from childhood onwards, nor one of the other kind who forsake the world after sensational debaucheries.
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.
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.
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.
And if all others accepted the lie which the Party imposed--if all records told the same tale--then the lie passed into history and became truth. 'Who controls the past' ran the Party slogan, 'controls the future: who controls the present controls the past.
It said what he would have said, if it had been possible for him to set his scattered thoughts in order. It was the product of a mind similar to his own, but enormously more powerful, more systematic, less fear-ridden. The best books, he perceived, are those that tell you what you know already.
At any given moment, there is a sort of all pervading orthodoxy, a general tacit agreement not to discuss large and uncomfortable facts.
If you ask any ordinary reader which of Dickens's proletarian characters he can remember, the three he is almost certain to mention are Bill Sykes, Sam Weller and Mrs. Gamp. A burglar, a valet and a drunken midwife-not exactly a representative cross-section of the English working class.
We are the dead. Our only true life is in the future.
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.
I managed to get my copy of Ulysses through safely this time. I rather wish I had never read it. It gives me an inferiority complex. When I read a book like that and then come back to my own work, I feel like a eunuch who has taken a course in voice production.
It was intended that when Newspeak had been adopted once and for all and Oldspeak forgotten, a heretical thought...should be literally unthinkable, at least so far as thought is dependent on words.
He felt as though he were wandering in the forests of the sea bottom, lost in a monstrous world where he himself was the monster. He was alone. The past was dead, the future was unimaginable.
If both the past and the external world exist only in the mind, and if the mind itself is controllable -- what then?
Real power is achieved when the ruling class controls the material essentials of life, granting and withholding them from the masses as if they were privileges.
I noticed how the attitude of women varies with a man's clothes. When a badly dressed man passes them they shudder away from him with a quite frank movement of disgust, as though he were a dead cat. Clothes are very powerful things.
The most stirring battle-poem in English is about a brigade of cavalry which charged in the wrong direction.
Your worst enemy, he reflected, was your own nervous system. At any moment the tension inside you was liable to translate itself into some visible symptom.
Day by day and almost minute by minute the past was brought up to date.
Day by day and almost minute by minute the past was brought up to date. In this way every prediction made by the Party could be shown by documentary evidence to have been correct; nor was any item of news, or any expression of opinion, which conflicted with the needs of the moment, ever allowed to remain on record. All history was a palimpsest, scraped clean and reinscribed exactly as often as was necessary.
You do not exist.
I think I exist. I am conscious of my own identity. I was born, and I shall die. I have arms and legs. I occupy a particular point in space. No other solid object can occupy the same point simultaneously.
What mattered was that the room over the junk-shop should exist. To know that it was there, inviolate, was almost the same as being in it. The room was a world, a pocket of the past where extinct animals could walk.
But when war becomes literally continuous , it also ceases to be dangerous. When war is continuous there is no such thing as military necessity. Technical progress can cease and the most palpable facts can be denied or disregarded.
We know that no one ever seizes power with the intention of relinquishing it. Power is not a means; it is an end.
The stuff that was coming out of his mouth consisted of words, but it was not speech in the true sense: it was a noise uttered in unconsciousness, like the quacking of a duck.
It was only a hopeless fantasy,
it passed like an April day,
but a look and a word and the dreams they stirred
they have stolen my heart away.
Then the face of Big Brother faded away again and instead the three slogans of the Party stood out in bold capitals:
WAR IS PEACE
FREEDOM IS SLAVERY
IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH.
They say that time heals all things,
they say you can always forget;
but the smiles and the tears across the years
they twist my heart strings yet!
I enjoy talking to you. Your mind appeals to me. It resembles my own mind except that you happen to be insane.
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.
(in The Sporting Spirit, Tribune, GB, London, December 1945).
The horrible thing about the Two Minutes Hate was not that one was obliged to act a part, but that it was impossible to avoid joining in.
It reminded us that propaganda in some form or other lurks in every book, that every work of art has a meaning and a purpose -- a political, social and religious purpose -- that our aesthetic judgements are always coloured by our prejudices and beliefs.
A mass of Latin words falls upon the facts like soft snow, blurring the outlines and covering up the details.
A mass of Latin words falls upon the facts like soft snow, blurring the outline and covering up all the details. 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. 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. When the general atmosphere is bad, language must suffer.
Now I will tell you the answer to my question. It is this. The Party seeks power entirely for its own sake. We are not interested in the good of others; we are interested solely in power, pure power.
The cost of reading, even if you buy books instead of borrowing them and take in a fairly large number of periodicals, does not amount to more than the combined cost of smoking and drinking.
All true tea lovers not only like their tea strong, but like it a little stronger with each year that passes.
All true tea lovers not only like their tea strong, but like it a little stronger with each year that passes -- a fact which is recognized in the extra ration issued to old-age pensioners.
If people cannot write well, they cannot think well, and if they cannot think well, others will do their thinking for them.
Until they became conscious they will never rebel, and until after they have rebelled they cannot become conscious.
If you want to keep a secret, you must also hide it from yourself.
If you want to keep a secret, you must also hide it from yourself. You must know all the while that it is there, but until it is needed you must never let it emerge into your consciousness in any shape that can be given a name.
The paperweight was the room he was in, and the coral was Julia's life and his own, fixed in a sort of eternity at the heart of the crystal.
If you have no money, men won't care for you, women won't love you; won't, that is, care for you or love you the last little bit that matters.
Freedom of speech and of the Press are usually attacked by arguments which are not worth bothering about.
Perhaps the Party was rotten under the surface, its cult of strenuousness and self-denial simply a sham concealing iniquity.
All the papers that matter live off their advertisements, and the advertisers exercise an indirect censorship over news.
In general, the greater the understanding, the greater the delusion; the more intelligent, the less sane.
Whatever is funny is subversive, every joke is ultimately a custard pie... a dirty joke is a sort of mental rebellion.
But it was alright, everything was alright, the struggle was finished. He had won the victory over himself. He loved Big Brother.
No one I met at this time -- doctors, nurses, practicantes, or fellow-patients -- failed to assure me that a man who is hit through the neck and survives it is the luckiest creature alive. I could not help thinking that it would be even luckier not to be hit at all.
Twelve voices were shouting in anger, and they were all alike. No question, now, what had happened to the faces of the pigs. 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.
A dull, decent people, cherishing and fortifying their dullness behind a quarter of a million bayonets.
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.
Huge events like the Ukraine famine of 1933, involving the deaths of millions of people, have actually escaped the attention of the majority of English russophiles.
It appeared that even in Barcelona there were hardly any bullfights nowadays; for some reason all the best matadors were Fascists.
For, after all, how do we know that two and two make four? Or that the force of gravity works? Or that the past is unchangeable? If both the past and the external world exist only in the mind, and if the mind itself is controllable -- what then?
The plant is blind but it knows enough to keep pushing upwards towards the light, and it will continue to do this in the face of endless discouragements.
The command of the old despotisms was Thou shalt not. The command of the totalitarians was Thou shalt. Our command is Thou art.
If the Party could thrust its hand into the past and say of this or that event, it never happened--that, surely, was more terrifying than mere torture and death.
And to know that things never had been, nor ever could be much better or much worse -- hunger, hardship, and disappointment being, so he said, the unalterable law of life.
It is the same in all wars; the soldiers do the fighting, the journalists do the shouting, and no true patriot ever gets near a front-line trench, except on the briefest of propaganda tours.
But you could not have pure love or pure lust nowadays. No emotion was pure, because everything was mixed up with fear and hatred. Their embrace had been a battle, the climax a victory. It was a blow struck against the Party. It was a political act.
Power is not a means; it is an end.
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. The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power.
The object of terrorism is terrorism. The object of oppression is oppression. The object of torture is torture. The object of murder is murder. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?
The enemies of intellectual liberty always try to present their case as a plea for discipline versus individualism. The issue truth-versus-untruth is as far as possible kept in the background.
He was a lonely ghost uttering a truth that nobody would ever hear. But so long as he uttered it, in some obscure way the continuity was not broken. It was not by making yourself heard but by staying sane that you carried on the human heritage.
Being in a minority, even in a minority of one, did not make you mad. There was truth and there was untruth, and if you clung to the truth even against the whole world, you were not mad.
They were governed by private loyalties which they did not question. What mattered were individual relationships, and a completely helpless gesture, an embrace, a tear, a word spoken to a dying man, could have value in itself.
The inflated style is itself a kind of euphemism. A mass of Latin words falls upon the facts like soft snow, blurring the outlines and covering up all the details. The great enemy of clear language is insincerity.
England is the most class-ridden country under the sun. It is a land of snobbery and privilege, ruled largely by the old and silly.
Day is over, night has come. Today is gone, what's done is done. Embrace your dreams, through the night. Tomorrow comes with a whole new light.
One feels of him that there was much he did not understand, but not that there was anything that he was frightened of saying or thinking.
As I write, highly civilized human beings are flying overhead, trying to kill me.
As I write, highly civilized human beings are flying overhead, trying to kill me. They do not feel any enmity against me as an individual, nor I against them. They are only 'doing their duty.'
A family with the wrong members in control; that, perhaps, is as near as one can come to describing England in a phrase.
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.
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.
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.
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.
A dirty joke is a sort of mental rebellion.
A dirty joke is not, of course, a serious attack on morality, but it is a sort of mental rebellion, a momentary wish that things were otherwise.