186 Best George Orwell Quotes

George Orwell Quotes

Here we’ve compiled a list of 186 best quotes by George Orwell on communism, politics, power, socialism, history, freedom, and war.

Eric Arthur Blair (1903 –1950), known as George Orwell, was born in the region of India, now known as Bangladesh. He grew up there until his family moved to England when he was eight years old. After high school, George studied at Eton College and then went on to study the French language for a few months at the University of Paris before dropping out due to poverty.

Despite all unfortunate circumstances, Orwell managed to pursue his passion and got unexpected fame. He is known as an influential writer who created some of the best-known fiction in modern English literature, including “Animal Farm” and “1984”. His writing impacted political discourse worldwide as he used his stories to explore issues such as totalitarianism, censorship, imperialism, etc. (often criticizing them from a left-wing perspective).

So, let’s explore 186 best and famous quotes by George Orwell that you’ll surely love reading.

Best Quotes Of George Orwell

  1. “To see what is in front of one’s nose needs a constant struggle.” — George Orwell
  2. “Rich people are poor people with money.” — George Orwell
  3. “In the face of pain, there are no heroes.” — George Orwell
  4. “If it is possible to cut a word out, always cut it out.” — George Orwell
  5. “I understand how. I do not understand why.” — George Orwell
  6. “The essence of being human is that one does not seek perfection.” — George Orwell
  7. “Of pain, you could wish only one thing: that it should stop. Nothing in the world was so bad as physical pain. In the face of pain, there are no heroes.” — George Orwell
  8. “In real life, it is always the anvil that breaks the hammer…” — George Orwell
  9. “Journalism is printing what someone else does not want printed. Everything else is public relations.” — George Orwell
  10. “If there is hope, it lies in the proles.” — George Orwell
  11. “In general, the greater the understanding, the greater the delusion; the more intelligent, the less sane.” — George Orwell
  12. “Every Joke is a Tiny Revolution.” — George Orwell
  13. “Your worst enemy, he reflected, was your nervous system. At any moment, the tension inside you was liable to translate itself into some visible symptom.” — George Orwell
  14. “Donkeys live a long time. None of you has ever seen a dead donkey.” — George Orwell
  15. “The word Fascism has now no meaning except in so far as it signifies ‘something not desirable.’” — George Orwell
  16.  “Under the spreading chestnut tree, I sold you, and you sold me –.”— George Orwell
  17. “Good prose should be transparent, like a windowpane.” — George Orwell
  18.  “Never use a foreign phrase, a scientific word, or a jargon word if you can think of an everyday English equivalent.” — George Orwell
  19.  “Writing a book is a horrible, exhausting struggle, like a long bout of some painful illness.” — George Orwell
  20. “Nothing was your own except the few cubic centimeters inside your skull.” — George Orwell
  21. “Reality is inside the skull.” — George Orwell
  22. “It is a feeling of relief, almost of pleasure, at knowing yourself at last genuinely down and out. You have talked so often of going to the dogs – and well, here are the dogs, and you have reached them, and you can stand it. It takes off a lot of anxiety.” — George Orwell
  23. “Never use a long word where a short one will do.” — George Orwell
  24. “He wears a mask, and his face grows to fit it.” — George Orwell
  25. “To an ordinary human being, love means nothing if it does not mean loving some people more than others.” — George Orwell
  26. “In this game that we’re playing, we can’t win. Some kinds of failure are better than other kinds, that’s all.” — George Orwell
  27. “Men can only be happy when they do not assume that the object of life is happiness.” — George Orwell
  28. “Happiness can exist only in acceptance.” — George Orwell
  29. “You must try harder. It is not easy to become sane.” — George Orwell
  30. “All true tea lovers not only like their tea strong but like it a little stronger with each year that passes.” — George Orwell
  31. “If you loved someone, you loved him, and when you had nothing else to give, you still gave him love.” — George Orwell
  32. “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
  33. “All human relationships must be purchased with money.” — George Orwell
  34. “Every life viewed from the inside is a series of defeats.” — George Orwell
  35. “If you can feel that staying human is worthwhile, even when it can’t have any practical result whatsoever, you’ve beaten them.” — George Orwell
  36. “My best fishing memory is about some fish that I never caught.” — George Orwell
  37. “Windmill or no windmill, he said, life would go on as it had always gone on – that is, badly.” — George Orwell
  38. “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.” — George Orwell
  39. “The real test of character is how you treat someone who has no possibility of doing you any good.” — George Orwell
  40. “We control matter because we control the mind. Reality is inside the skull.” — George Orwell
  41. “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.” — George Orwell
  42. “When I sit down to write a book, I do not say to myself, ‘I am going to produce a work of art.’ I write it because there is some lie that I want to expose, some fact to which I want to draw attention, and my initial concern is to get a hearing.” — George Orwell
  43. “His answer to every problem, every setback was “I will work harder!” – which he had adopted as his personal motto.” — George Orwell
  44.  “A man may take to drink because he feels himself to be a failure, but then fail all the more completely because he drinks.” — George Orwell
  45. “Man is the only real enemy we have. Remove Man from the scene, and the root cause of hunger and overwork is abolished for ever.” — George Orwell
  46. “Literature is doomed if liberty of thought perishes.” — George Orwell
  47. “If people cannot write well, they cannot think well, and if they cannot think well, others will do their thinking for them.” — George Orwell
  48. “For a creative writer, possession of the ‘truth’ is less important than emotional sincerity.” — George Orwell
  49. “All writers are vain, selfish and lazy, and at the very bottom of their motives lies a mystery.” — George Orwell
  50. “Sanity is not statistical.” — George Orwell
  51. “We shall meet in the place where there is no darkness.” — George Orwell
  52. “Perhaps one did not want to be loved so much as to be understood.” — George Orwell
  53. “It is a mysterious thing, the loss of faith – as mysterious as faith itself.” — George Orwell
  54. “Man serves the interests of no creature except himself.” — George Orwell
  55. “Every generation imagines itself to be more intelligent than the one that went before it, and wiser than the one that comes after it.” — George Orwell
  56. “However much you deny the truth, the truth goes on existing.” — George Orwell
  57. “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
  58. “A human being is primarily a bag for putting food into.” — George Orwell
  59. “Four legs good, two legs bad.” — George Orwell
  60. “Thoughtcrime does not entail death: thoughtcrime is death.” — George Orwell
  61. “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 around him. She had become a physical necessity.” — George Orwell
  62. “Stupidity was as necessary as intelligence, and as difficult to attain.” — George Orwell

George Orwell Quotes on Communism

  1. “All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.” — George Orwell
  2. “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.” — George Orwell
  3. “It’s not so much staying alive; it’s staying human that’s important. What counts is that we don’t betray each other.” — George Orwell
  4. “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.” — George Orwell
  5. “No animal shall kill any other animal without cause.” — George Orwell
  6. “Beauty is meaningless until it is shared.” — George Orwell
  7. “If human equality is to be for ever averted – if the High, as we have called them, are to keep their places permanently – then the prevailing mental condition must be controlled insanity.” — George Orwell

George Orwell Quotes on Politics

  1. “Big Brother is watching you.” — George Orwell
  2. “Political language is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind.” — George Orwell
  3. “Free speech is my right to say what you don’t want to hear.” — George Orwell
  4. “Progress is not an illusion, it happens, but it is slow and invariably disappointing.” — George Orwell
  5. “Preventive war is a crime not easily committed by a country that retains any traces of democracy.” — George Orwell
  6. “You will be hollow. We shall squeeze you empty, and then we shall fill you with ourselves.” — George Orwell
  7. “We do not merely destroy our enemies; we change them.” — George Orwell
  8. “He loved Big Brother.” — George Orwell
  9. “In philosophy, or religion, or ethics, or politics, two and two might make five, but when one was designing a gun or an Aeroplan, they had to make four.” — George Orwell
  10. “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.” — George Orwell
  11. “Truth – It’s the New Hate Speech: “During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act” — George Orwell
  12. “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
  13. “The opinion that art should have nothing to do with politics is itself a political attitude.” — George Orwell
  14. “Winston Smith: Does Big Brother exist? O’Brien: Of course, he exists. Winston Smith: Does he exist like you or me? O’Brien: You do not exist.” — George Orwell
  15. “Patriotism is usually stronger than class hatred, and always stronger than internationalism.” — George Orwell
  16. “It’s a beautiful thing, the destruction of words.” — George Orwell
  17. “And I believe that totalitarianism, if not fought against, could triumph again.” — George Orwell
  18. “Today there were fear, hatred, and pain, but no dignity of emotion, no deep or complex sorrows.” — George Orwell
  19. “Reality exists in the human mind and nowhere else. Not in the individual mind, which can make mistakes, and in any case soon perishes: only in the mind of the Party, which is collective and immortal.” — George Orwell
  20. “England is perhaps the only great country whose intellectuals are ashamed of their own nationality.” — George Orwell
  21. “Politics is the choice between the lesser of two evils.” — George Orwell
  22. “If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.” — George Orwell
  23. “In a time of deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.” — George Orwell
  24. “Perhaps a lunatic was simply a minority of one.” — George Orwell
  25. “If thought corrupts language, language can also corrupt thought. A bad usage can spread by tradition and imitation even among people who should and do know better.” — George Orwell
  26.  “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.” — George Orwell
  27. “It’s frightful that people who are so ignorant have so much influence.” — George Orwell
  28.  “The real division is not between conservatives and revolutionaries but between authoritarians and libertarians.” — George Orwell
  29. “In our time, political speech and writing are largely the defense of the indefensible.” — George Orwell
  30. “All tyrannies rule through fraud and force, but once the fraud is exposed, they must rely exclusively on force.” — George Orwell
  31. “All the papers that matter live off their advertisements, and the advertisers exercise an indirect censorship over news.” — George Orwell
  32. “So much of left-wing thought is a kind of playing with fire by people who don’t even know that fire is hot.” — George Orwell
  33. “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.” — George Orwell
  34. “Never use a metaphor, simile, or other figure of speech which you are used to seeing in print.” — George Orwell
  35. “A humanitarian is always a hypocrite.” — George Orwell
  36. “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.” — George Orwell
  37.  “News is something somebody doesn’t want printed; all else is advertising.” — George Orwell
  38.  “I enjoy talking to you. Your mind appeals to me. It resembles my own mind except that you happen to be insane.” — George Orwell
  39. “The greatest enemy of clear language is insincerity.” — George Orwell
  40. “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.” — George Orwell
  41. “Being in a minority, even in a minority of one, did not make you mad. There was the truth, and there was untruth, and if you clung to the truth even against the whole world, you were not mad.” — George Orwell
  42. “Reality exists in the human mind, and nowhere else.” — George Orwell
  43. “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.” — George Orwell
  44. “Right thinking will be rewarded, wrong thinking punished.” — George Orwell
  45. “That rifle on the wall of the laborer’s cottage or working class flat is the symbol of democracy. It is our job to see that it stays there.” — George Orwell
  46. “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
  47. “At fifty, everyone has the face he deserves.” — George Orwell
  48. “Orthodoxy means not thinking – not needing to think. Orthodoxy is unconsciousness.” — George Orwell
  49. “But it was alright; everything was alright, the struggle was finished. He had won the victory over himself. He loved Big Brother.” — George Orwell
  50. “It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen.” — George Orwell
  51. “There is no swifter route to the corruption of thought than through the corruption of language.” — George Orwell
  52. “All art is propaganda; on the other hand, not all propaganda is art.” — George Orwell
  53. “Manchester is the belly and guts of the nation.” — George Orwell
  54. “Advertising is the rattling of a stick inside a swill bucket.” — George Orwell
  55. “Thoughtcrime was not a thing that could be concealed forever. You might dodge successfully for a while, even for years, but sooner or later they were bound to get you.” — George Orwell
  56. “If one harbor anywhere in one’s mind a nationalistic loyalty or hatred, certain facts, though in a sense known to be true, are inadmissible.” — George Orwell

George Orwell Quotes on Power

  1. “Power is not a means; it is an end.” — George Orwell
  2. “Until they became conscious, they will never rebel, and until after they have rebelled, they cannot become conscious.” — George Orwell
  3. “Power is in tearing human minds to pieces and putting them together again in new shapes of your own choosing.” — George Orwell
  4. “We know that no one ever seizes power with the intention of relinquishing it.” — George Orwell
  5. “Nationalism is power-hunger tempered by self-deception.” — George Orwell
  6. “The people will believe what the media tells them they believe.” — George Orwell
  7. “Doublethink means the power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one’s mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them.” — George Orwell
  8. “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.” — George Orwell
  9. “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.” — George Orwell
  10.  “The secret of a successful restaurant is sharp knives.” — George Orwell
  11. “If you want to know who rules over you, look at who you are not allowed to criticize.” — George Orwell

George Orwell Quotes on Socialism

  1. “The further a society drifts from truth, the more it will hate those who speak it.” — George Orwell
  2. “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.” — George Orwell
  3. “We have now sunk to a depth at which restatement of the obvious is the first duty of intelligent men.” — George Orwell
  4.  “As with the Christian religion, the worst advertisement for Socialism is its adherents.” — George Orwell
  5.  “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.” — George Orwell
  6. “A Socialist United States of Europe seems to me the only worthwhile political objective today.” — George Orwell
  7. “It is not possible for any thinking person to live in such a society as our own without wanting to change it.” — George Orwell

George Orwell Quotes on History

  1. “History has stopped. Nothing exists except an endless present in which the Party is always right.” — George Orwell
  2. “The most effective way to destroy people is to deny and obliterate their own understanding of their history.” — George Orwell
  3. “The past was erased, the erasure was forgotten, the lie became the truth.” — George Orwell
  4.  “It was not by making yourself heard but by staying sane that you carried on the human heritage.” — George Orwell
  5. “He was alone. The past was dead; the future was unimaginable.”
  6. “Napoleon is always right.” — George Orwell
  7. “He who controls the past controls the future. He who controls the present controls the past.” — George Orwell
  8. “From the totalitarian point of view, history is something to be created rather than learned.” — George Orwell
  9. “The very concept of objective truth is fading out of the world. Lies will pass into history.” — George Orwell
  10. “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.” — George Orwell
  11. “Oceania was at war with Eurasia; therefore, Oceania had always been at war with Eurasia.” — George Orwell
  12. “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.” — George Orwell
  13. “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.” — George Orwell
  14. “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?” — George Orwell

George Orwell Quotes on Freedom and War

  1. “War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength.” — George Orwell
  2. “Freedom is the freedom to say that two plus two make four. If that is granted, all else follows.” — George Orwell
  3. “Sooner or later a false belief bumps up against solid reality, usually on a battlefield.” — George Orwell
  4.  “If you want a vision of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face – forever.” — George Orwell
  5. “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.” — George Orwell
  6.  “The choice for mankind lies between freedom and happiness, and for the great bulk of mankind, happiness is better.” — George Orwell
  7.  “People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf.” — George Orwell
  8. “The war is not meant to be won; it is meant to be continuous.” — George Orwell
  9. “All the war propaganda, all the screaming and lies, and hatred comes invariably from people who are not fighting.” — George Orwell
  10. “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
  11. “Freedom of the Press, if it means anything at all, means the freedom to criticize and oppose.” — George Orwell
  12. “War is evil, but it is often the lesser evil.” — George Orwell
  13. “The fight against bad English is not frivolous.” — George Orwell
  14. “To survive it is often necessary to fight and to fight you have to dirty yourself.” — George Orwell
  15. “Serious sport is war minus the shooting.” — George Orwell
  16. “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
  17. “International football is the continuation of war by other means.” — George Orwell
  18. “To die hating them, that was freedom.” — George Orwell
  19. “Pacifism is objectively pro-Fascist.” — George Orwell
  20. “Those who ‘abjure’ violence can do so only because others are committing violence on their behalf.” — George Orwell
  21. “Rifles, muskets, long-bows, and hand-grenades are inherently democratic weapons. A complex weapon makes the strong stronger, while a simple weapon – so long as there is no answer to it – gives claws to the weak.” — George Orwell
  22. “War is war. The only good human being is a dead one.” — George Orwell
  23. “The Revolution will be complete when the language is perfect.” — George Orwell
  24. “We may find in the long run that tinned food is a deadlier weapon than the machine-gun.” — George Orwell
  25.  “The most stirring battle-poem in English is about a brigade of cavalry which charged in the wrong direction.” — George Orwell
  26. “War against a foreign country only happens when the moneyed classes think they are going to profit from it.” — George Orwell
  27. “A generation of the unteachable is hanging upon us like a necklace of corpses.” — George Orwell
  28. “When I see an actual flesh-and-blood worker in conflict with his natural enemy, the policeman, I do not have to ask myself which side I am on.” — George Orwell
  29. “Since pacifists have more freedom of action in countries where traces of democracy survive, pacifism can act more effectively against democracy than for it. Objectively the pacifist is pro-Nazi.” — George Orwell

What does Orwell say about truth?

Orwell said that truth is subjective; it can be rewritten to fit the needs of someone in power.

According to Orwell’s “1984,” is what society wants you to believe at any given time. Therefore, there are multiple types of truths – often conflicting with each other depending on who tells them and why they’re being told.

For instance: if a person in charge decides they don’t want people knowing about something because it could cause problems for themselves or their policies, they will rewrite history books. They will make previous knowledge wrong information by rewriting past events into lies that support his agenda. In this way, future references written don’t get contradicted when readers try checking back old sources after discovering new ones telling different versions than previously.

What are the three sayings in the book 1984?

George Orwell’s “1984” has many sayings in the novel. One of them is “War Is Peace.” This saying implies that war can be used to fight for peace, even though it may not help create or maintain true peace at all times.

Another one says, “Freedom Is Slavery,” which means when people are free from Big Brother and his government, they’ll feel enslaved. So, there isn’t any authority in charge anymore who will take care of things like food shortages or other problems plaguing society.

Finally, another quote from the book says, “Ignorance is Strength.” The author uses this phrase to imply how important ignorance truly is for an authoritarian system such as Oceania under Big Brother rule to exist successfully.

What does Orwellian mean?

People used to think that Orwellian meant something like “totalitarian.” That’s not quite what it means. Orwellian refers to the world of 1984, so people thought about totalitarian rulers. Like, how they control their citizens with things like propaganda or surveillance-like Big Brother watching you all the time!

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Written by Fariha Arif

Fariha Arif is a passionate blog writer and loves to write diversified content. She prefers to read novels, browsing the Internet, and traveling in her spare time.

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