160 George Orwell Quotes

Looking for the best George Orwell quotes that will give you a glimpse of reality? Then this is the place for you.

This collection boasts of 160 quotes from some of his most well-known books like 1984 and the Animal Farm. Though most of his works fall under fiction, their underlying themes remain relevant in today’s social scenarios.

If you want to know more, continue to the list below.

Best George Orwell Quotes

George Orwell Quote - All animals are equal.Pin

1. “All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.”

2. “War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength.”

3. “Who controls the past, controls the future. Who controls the present, controls the past.”

4. “Doublethink means the power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one’s mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them.”

George Orwell Quote - If you want to keep a secret, you must also hide it from yourself.Pin

5. “If you want to keep a secret, you must also hide it from yourself.”

6. “Perhaps one did not want to be loved so much as to be understood.”

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

8. “But if thought corrupts language, language can also corrupt thought.”

9. “It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen.”

George Orwell Quote - In a time of deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.Pin

10. “In a time of deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.”

11. “We shall meet in the place where there is no darkness.”

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

13. “If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face—forever.”

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

George Orwell Quote - In the face of pain there are no heroes.Pin

15. “In the face of pain there are no heroes.”

16. “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.”

17. “The best books are those that tell you what you know already.”

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

19. “Until they become conscious they will never rebel, and until after they have rebelled they cannot become conscious.”

George Orwell Quote - If you loved someone, you loved him.Pin

20. “If you loved someone, you loved him, and when you had nothing else to give, you still gave him love.”

George Orwell Quotes on the Realities of Life and Humanity

21. “Being in a minority, even in a minority of one, did not make you mad.”

22. “Reality exists in the human mind and nowhere else.”

23. “The essence of being human is that one does not seek perfection.”

24. “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. He sets them to work, he gives back to them the bare minimum that will prevent them from starving, and the rest he keeps for himself.”

George Orwell Quote - People sleep peaceably in their bedsPin

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

26. “On the whole human beings want to be good, but not too good, and not quite all the time.”

27. “Four legs good, two legs bad.”

28. “The only good human being is a dead one.”

29. “Confession is not betrayal. What you say or do doesn’t matter; only feelings matter. If they could make me stop loving you, that would be the real betrayal.”

George Orwell Quote - Men can only be happy when they do not assume that the object of life is happinessPin

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

31. “Of pain, you could wish only one thing: that it should stop. Nothing in the world was so bad as physical pain.”

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

33. “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.”

34. “Man serves the interests of no creature except himself.”

George Orwell Quote - f you can feel that staying human is worthwhilePin

35. “If you can feel that staying human is worthwhile, even when it can’t have any result whatsoever, you’ve beaten them.”

36. “At 50, everyone has the face he deserves.”

37. “He wears a mask, and his face grows to fit it.”

38. “Let’s face it: our lives are miserable, laborious, and short.”

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

George Orwell Quote - It is a feeling of relief, almost of pleasure, at knowing yourself at lastPin

40. “It is a feeling of relief, almost of pleasure, at knowing yourself at last—genuinely down and out.”

41. “We are the dead. Our only true life is in the future.”

42. “The consequences of every act are included in the act itself.”

43. “If there really is such a thing as turning in one’s grave, Shakespeare must get a lot of exercise.”

44. “It is curious how people take it for granted that they have a right to preach at you and pray over you as soon as your income falls below a certain level.”

George Orwell Quote - But it was alright, everything was alright, the struggle was finishedPin

45. “But it was alright, everything was alright, the struggle was finished. He had won the victory over himself. He loved Big Brother.”

46. “The further a society drifts from the truth, the more it will hate those that speak it.”

47. “The distinguishing mark of man is the hand—the instrument with which he does all his mischief.”

48. “Man is the only real enemy we have. Remove man from the scene, and the root cause of hunger and overwork is abolished forever.”

49. “I hate purity, I hate goodness! I don’t want virtue to exist anywhere. I want everyone to be corrupt to the bones.”

George Orwell Quote - The end was contained in the beginning.Pin

50. “The end was contained in the beginning.”

51. “Some ideas are so stupid that only intellectuals believe them.”

52. “The stars are a free show; it doesn’t cost anything to use your eyes.”

53. “His answer to every problem, every setback was ‘I will work harder!’—which he had adopted as his personal motto.”

54. “If there is hope, it lies in the proles.”

George Orwell Quote - To the future or to the past, to a time when thought is freePin

55. “To the future or to the past, to a time when thought is free, when men are different from one another and do not live alone— to a time when truth exists and what is done cannot be undone: from the age of uniformity, from the age of solitude, from the age of Big Brother, from the age of doublethink—greetings!”

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

57. “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.”

58. “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.”

59. “You will be hollow. We shall squeeze you empty, and then we shall fill you with ourselves.”

George Orwell Quote - Though it is unreal, it is not meaninglessPin

60. “Though it is unreal, it is not meaningless.”

61. “What happens to you here is forever.”

62. “Within certain limits, it is actually true that the less money you have, the less you worry.”

63. “There, comrades, is the answer to all our problems. It is summed up in a single word—man.”

64. “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.”

George Orwell Quote - Autobiography is only to be trusted when it reveals something disgracefulPin

65. “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.”

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

67. “Even through the shut window pane, the world looked cold.”

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

69. “Happiness can exist only in acceptance.”

George Orwell Quote - So long as human beings stay human, death and life are the same thingPin

70. “So long as human beings stay human, death and life are the same thing.”

71. “When the white man turns tyrant, it is his own freedom that he destroys.”

72. “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.”

73. “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.”

74. “Poverty frees them from ordinary standards of behaviour, just as money frees people from work.”

George Orwell Quote - Weak or strong, clever or simple, we are all brothers.Pin

75. “Weak or strong, clever or simple, we are all brothers.”

76. “It is only when you meet someone of a different culture from yourself that you begin to realise what your own beliefs really are.”

77. “Beauty is meaningless until it is shared.”

78. “Inequality was the price of civilization.”

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

George Orwell Quote - Now he had recognized himself as a dead man it became important to stay alive as long as possible.Pin

80. “Now he had recognized himself as a dead man it became important to stay alive as long as possible.”

81. “I have no wish to take life, not even human life.”

82. “It is a corrupting thing to live one’s real life in secret. One should live with the stream of life, not against it.”

George Orwell Quotes on the Importance of Knowledge and Writing

83. “Perhaps a lunatic was simply a minority of one.”

84. “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.”

George Orwell Quote - It's a beautiful thing, the destruction of words.Pin

85. “It’s a beautiful thing, the destruction of words.”

86. “I enjoy talking to you. Your mind appeals to me. It resembles my own mind except that you happen to be insane.”

87. “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?”

88. “Orthodoxy means not thinking—not needing to think. Orthodoxy is unconsciousness.”

89. “Nothing was your own except the few cubic centimetres inside your skull.”

George Orwell Quote - Sanity is not statistical.Pin

90. “Sanity is not statistical.”

91. “Nothing holds it together except an idea which is indestructible.”

92. “Every record has been destroyed or falsified, every book rewritten, every picture has been repainted, every statue and street building has been renamed, every date has been altered. And the process is continuing day by day and minute by minute. History has stopped. Nothing exists except an endless present in which the Party is always right.”

93. “Several of them would have protested if they could have found the right arguments.”

94. “There was truth and there was untruth, and if you clung to the truth even against the whole world, you were not mad.”

George Orwell Quote - There are some ideas so absurd that only an intellectual could believe themPin

95. “There are some ideas so absurd that only an intellectual could believe them.”

96. “If people cannot write well, they cannot think well, and if they cannot think well, others will do their thinking for them.”

97. “In philosophy, or religion, or ethics, or politics, two and two might make five, but when one was designing a gun or an aeroplane they had to make four.”

98. “The greatest enemy of clear language is insincerity.”

99. “Don’t you see that the whole aim of Newspeak is to narrow the range of thought? In the end we shall make thoughtcrime literally impossible, because there will be no words in which to express it.”

George Orwell Quote - We are all capable of believing things which we know to be untruePin

100. “We are all capable of believing things which we know to be untrue, and then, when we are finally proved wrong, impudently twisting the facts so as to show that we were right.”

101. “All writers are vain, selfish and lazy, and at the very bottom of their motives lies a mystery.”

102. “Stupidity was as necessary as intelligence, and as difficult to attain.”

103. “In general, the greater the understanding, the greater the delusion; the more intelligent, the less sane.”

104. “Everyone believes in the atrocities of the enemy and disbelieves in those of his own side, without ever bothering to examine the evidence.”

George Orwell Quote - The past was erased, the erasure was forgottenPin

105. “The past was erased, the erasure was forgotten, the lie became the truth.”

106. “They had come to a time when no one dared speak his mind—when fierce, growling dogs roamed everywhere, and when you had to watch your comrades torn to pieces after confessing to shocking crimes.”

107. “The Revolution will be complete when the language is perfect.”

108. “Freedom of the Press, if it means anything at all, means the freedom to criticize and oppose.”

109. “Perhaps a man really dies when his brain stops, when he loses the power to take in a new idea.”

George Orwell Quote - The urge to shout filthy words at the top of his voice was as strong as ever.Pin

110. “The urge to shout filthy words at the top of his voice was as strong as ever.”

111. “We have now sunk to a depth at which restatement of the obvious is the first duty of intelligent men.”

112. “He drove his mind into the abyss where poetry is written.”

113. “Writing a novel is agony.”

114. “A generation of the unteachable is hanging upon us like a necklace of corpses.”

George Orwell Quote - Within any important issue, there are always aspects no one wishes to discuss.Pin

115. “Within any important issue, there are always aspects no one wishes to discuss.”

116. “It is one of the tragedies of the half-educated that they develop late, when they are already committed to some wrong way of life.”

117. “We are living in a world in which nobody is free, in which hardly anybody is secure, in which it is almost impossible to be honest and to remain alive.”

118. “Good novels are written by people who are not frightened.”

119. “Thoughtcrime, they called it.”

George Orwell Quote - My poems are dead because I'm deadPin

120. “My poems are dead because I’m dead. You’re dead. We’re all dead. Dead people in a dead world.”

121. “Never use a long word where a short one will do.”

122. “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.”

123. “He might be ragged and cold or even starving, but so long as he could read, think and watch for meteors, he was, as he said, free in his own mind.”

George Orwell Quotes on the the Quest for Power and Liberty

124. “Power is in tearing human minds to pieces and putting them together again in new shapes of your own choosing.”

George Orwell Quote - Big Brother is watching you.Pin

125. “Big Brother is watching you.”

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

127. “The choice for mankind lies between freedom and happiness and for the great bulk of mankind, happiness is better.”

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

129. “To die hating them, that was freedom.”

George Orwell Quote - A society becomes totalitarianPin

130. “A society becomes totalitarian when its structure becomes flagrantly artificial: that is, when its ruling class has lost its function but succeeds in clinging to power by force or fraud.”

131. “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?”

132. “One does not establish a dictatorship in order to safeguard a revolution; one makes the revolution in order to establish the dictatorship.”

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

134. “We know that no one ever seizes power with the intention of relinquishing it.”

George Orwell Quote - The masses never revolt of their own accordPin

135. “The masses never revolt of their own accord, and they never revolt merely because they are oppressed. Indeed, so long as they are not permitted to have standards of comparison, they never even become aware that they are oppressed.”

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

137. “The Ministry of Peace concerns itself with war, the Ministry of Truth with lies, the Ministry of Love with torture and the Ministry of Plenty with starvation. These contradictions are not accidental, nor do they result from ordinary hypocrisy: they are deliberate exercises in doublethink.”

138. “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.”

139. “Can you not understand that liberty is worth more than just ribbons?”

George Orwell Quote - A people that elect corrupt politiciansPin

140. “A people that elect corrupt politicians, imposters, thieves and traitors are not victims, but accomplices.”

141. “Pacifism is objectively pro-fascist. This is elementary common sense. If you hamper the war effort of one side, you automatically help out that of the other. Nor is there any real way of remaining outside such a war as the present one. In practice, ‘He that is not with me is against me.’”

142. “The essential act of war is destruction, not necessarily of human lives, but of the products of human labour. War is a way of shattering to pieces, or pouring into the stratosphere, or sinking in the depths of the sea, materials which might otherwise be used to make the masses too comfortable, and hence, in the long run, too intelligent.”

143. “All men are enemies. All animals are comrades.”

144. “Freedom is the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.”

George Orwell Quote - How does one man assert his power over another?Pin

145. “How does one man assert his power over another?”

146. “The real division is not between conservatives and revolutionaries but between authoritarians and libertarians.”

147. “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.”

148. “The quickest way of ending a war is to lose it.”

149. “There are occasions when it pays better to fight and be beaten than not to fight at all.”

George Orwell Quote - The opinion that art should have nothing to do with politics is itself a political attitude.Pin

150. “The opinion that art should have nothing to do with politics is itself a political attitude.”

151. “In moments of crisis one is never fighting against an external enemy but always against one’s own body.”

152. “The secret of rulership is to combine a belief in one’s own infallibility with a power to learn from past mistakes.”

153. “Despotic governments can stand ‘moral force’ till the cows come home; what they fear is physical force.”

154. “Liberal: a power worshipper without power.”

George Orwell Quote - Those who abjure violence can only do so by others committing violence on their behalf.Pin

155. “Those who abjure violence can only do so by others committing violence on their behalf.”

156. “When a man has a black face, suspicion is proof.”

157. “Where there is equality there can be sanity.”

158. “Public opinion is less tolerant than any system of law.”

159. “The point is that as soon as fear, hatred, jealousy and power worship are involved, the sense of reality becomes unhinged.”

George Orwell Quote - Few people have the guts to say outright that art and propaganda are the same thing.Pin

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

Did These George Orwell Quotes Serve as Gateways For You to Find the Truth?

Today, more than 70 years after publishing 1984, his works still voice out the parallels we see in his publications. “Big Brother” as we know it, is “always watching”—through our phones and social media—controlling us and enslaving us, making us believe that we have to be a certain way. With this he reminds us: heed the warning; we have the power to stop this kind of reality.

Which of these George Orwell quotes made you think twice about today’s realities? What other dystopian quotes related to these themes would you like us to include? Let us know in the comments section below.

Amy Finn

Hi. I'm Amy, the founder of this blog. I love quotes and enjoy sharing the best ones with you.

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