George Orwell Quotes About Truth, Freedom and Life

George Orwell was a great writer and thinker who had a lot of wisdom to share. In his quotes, he speaks to the heart of the human condition, offering insights that are both profound and timeless. If you’re looking for some thought-provoking reading, then you should definitely check out George Orwell quotes.

george orwell quotes

Orwell was born in 1903 in India, where his father was a civil servant. The family moved to England in 1907. Orwell was educated at a boarding school in Sussex, and then at Eton College. He worked as a tutor and a journalist. He joined the Indian Imperial Police in Burma. He resigned from the police in 1927 and moved back to England

As a journalist, Orwell was able to bring his own unique perspective to political and social issues of the day. He was highly critical of both the British government and the Soviet Union, and he was a vocal advocate for democratic socialism. His essays and articles were widely read and highly influential.

He continued to write, but was not as prolific as he had been before the war. His health was poor, and he was often ill. He also suffered from tuberculosis, which eventually claimed his life in 1950. Despite his health problems, Orwell continued to be politically active. He was a vocal critic of the Soviet Union, and wrote about the dangers of totalitarianism. 

Orwell‘s legacy is one of fighting for the truth, no matter the cost. He was an outspoken critic of totalitarianism and fought for the rights of the individual. His writing has inspired generations of people to stand up for their beliefs and fight for a better world. Orwell’s work is a reminder that it is always worth fighting for what is right.

Here are some of our favorite George Orwell quotes.

115 George Orwell Quotes

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

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

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

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

5. “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.”

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

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

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

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

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

george orwell truth quote

Famous George Orwell Quotes

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

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

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

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

15. “Never, for any reason on earth, could you wish for an increase in pain. Of pain you could wish only one thing: that it should stop.”

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

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

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

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

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

Famous George Orwell Quotes

Mind-Provoking George Orwell Quotes

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

22. “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.”

23. “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.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

34. “Happiness can exist only in acceptance.”

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

Positive George Orwell Quotes

36. “What is to be expected of them is not treachery, or physcial cowardice, but stupidity, unconscious sabotage, an infallible instinct for doing the wrong thing.”

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

38. “If you can feel that staying human is worth while, even when it can’t have any result whatever, you’ve beaten them.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Best George Orwell Quotes

46. “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.”

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

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

49. “Orthodoxy means not thinking–not needing to think. Orthodoxy is unconsciousness.”

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

51. “Journalism is printing what someone else does not want printed: everything else is public relations.”

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

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

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

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

Mind Changing George Orwell Quotes

56. “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.”

57. “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?”

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

59. “By using stale metaphors, similes and idioms, you save much mental effort, at the cost of leaving your meaning vague, not only for your reader but for yourself.”

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

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

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

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

64. “War is a way of shattering to pieces, or pouring into the stratosphere, or sinking into the depths of the sea, materials which might otherwise be used to make the masses too comforable, and hence, in the long run, too intelligent.”

George Orwell Quotes About Truth, Freedom and Life

65. “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.”

66. “Until they become conscious, they will never rebel”

67. “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.”

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

69. “If both the past and the external world exist only in the mind, and if the mind itself is controllable – what then?”

70. “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.”

71. “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.”

72. “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.”

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

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

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

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

77. “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.”

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

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

80. “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.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

87. “Those who control the present, control the past and those who control the past control the future.”

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

89. “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.”

90. “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.”

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

92. “Good prose should be transparent, like a window pane.”

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

94. “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”

95. “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.”

96. “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.”

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

98. “If you set yourself to it, you can live the same life, rich or poor. You can keep on with your books and your ideas. You just got to say to yourself, “I’m a free man in here” – he tapped his forehead – “and you’re all right.”

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

101. “It was not by making yourself heard but by staying sane that you carried on the human heritage.”

102. “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.”

103. “Sanity was statistical. It was merely a question of learning to think as they thought.”

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

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

106. “Inequality was the price of civilization.”

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

108. “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.”

109. “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.”

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

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

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

113. “In real life it is always the anvil that breaks the hammer…”

114. “Progress is not an illusion; it happens, but it is slow and invariably disappointing.”

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

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