13 quotes from George Orwell’s 1984 that resonate more than ever


One of the most influential dystopian novels ever written, 1984 has had a profound effect on the world. Since its publication in 1949 many of its concepts have entered modern day parlance. Big Brother, doublethink, thoughtcrime, Newspeak and Room 101 are all part of Orwell’s world. What’s more, as a result of the book, Orwellian is now a term to describes official deception, secret surveillance, and manipulation of the past by a totalitarian or authoritarian state. Orwell hoped that by writing 1984 he’d help stop such a state ever coming to pass. Read these 1984 quotes to decide for yourself.

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

“He who controls the past controls the future. He who controls the present controls the past.”

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



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

“Big Brother is Watching You.”

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


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

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



“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.”

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


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

“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?”



“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”

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68 replies

  1. 1984 is a work that every high school student should read along with Machiavelli’s The Prince and Eric Hoffer’s True Believer. “Politics and the English Language” wouldn’t hurt either. These works show how dictatorship works and it works only because we let it. Orthodoxy and fanaticism are the road to slavery. Beware!!

        • “How stupid are the people of Iowa?” said Trump–in Iowa, the only battleground state in which he has consistently been ahead in the polls.

          • Leave to a Hillary voter to change history on a page about 1984.
            In regards to comments by Ben Carson having changed his behavior overnight – “Trump was flabbergasted: “How stupid are the people of Iowa? How stupid are the people of the country to believe this crap?”

            Facts being distorted tells us more about WHOM you believe in more than what you believe in

  2. I wonder how many people even realise Orwell wasn’t writing about our dystopian future. 1984 is the story of early childhood, a toddler’s heroic struggle for independence and self-determination before their rebellious streak is annihilated by the loving violence of a mother that Knows Best, a Big Mother (if you’re a toddler) who reverses values to illogical (deceit is nice, Truth is rude, mindless obedience is rewarded, inquisitive thought is punished, violence is love, God is good, etc).

    This is a story we know already. We’re all Winston. We all won the battle over ourselves. We all love Big Mother.

    “The best books, he perceived, are those that tell you what you know already.”
    – (Orwell, 1984)

        • Orweill said what the book was about!!!!
          The article said what it was about!!
          So yeah, in this case there is only ONE (1) meaning!! But people are just too ignorant and/ or inept to pay attention and actually comprehend or retain anything of actual use. But they can damn sure tell you when that Kardashian whore got married or Minaj’s birthday.

    • This is genius, actually. One way you can tell, is in the empty vitriol you get from respondents like Adam.

      I have often marveled at how much autobiography can be found in science fiction. Philip Dick and Ray Bradbury are also great examples of this. Bradbury even admitted that many of his short story ideas come from semi-conscious sources like dreams and old memories. So, it’s not at all an unreasonable inference to suggest origins like childhood trauma for these stories.

      • Saying 1984 is “really” about something else is absurd. That isn’t genius; it’s a joke. The only point of similarity in the comparison to early childhood is that both are concerned with power.

        As for autobiography in authors’ writings, unless you have actual, hard evidence for that, it’s also a joke.

    • Are you really believing that? Can you not see how Animal Farm ties into that same future or is that just a story about a day at the farm?

    • Next you’ll be telling us “animal farm” is about our teen years.you have zero idea what you’re talking about.

    • Interesting slant and it works. Equally it works in employment too. I worked for a multi-national organisation where the overall strategy was one of denial ( we never said that, we’ve always been at war with….) twisting words, and accusations of cynicism when all you were doing was being a realist. The trouble is that people keep quiet and don’t challenge simply out of fear of losing a job. Natural but it doesn’t help to make things better!

    • Smells of leftist disinformation, nothing more, nothing less just like ‘cultural Marxism is a conspiracy theory’, ‘the gulags were just like the Western prison system’, ‘ Stalin never killed no one okay” and that old favourite ‘communism was never implemented properly’.

  3. to this day britain is still murdering it citizens, its committing social cleansing of mentally ill, pedos and long term unemployed…..yes unemplyed, yes unemploted is a capitaol offoice in britain, if you dont pay taxes for too long u will disappear just like the homeless & scitzos do!!!
    thats what the book was reslly about, orwell knew bak then what the brit military was secretly doing to tit citzens

  4. Where is “We are the dead,” on this list?
    It’s my favourite quote, and I feel it rings true, if not also depressingly.

  5. It’s obvious the dumbing down of the world was accomplished by market forces that now use these quotes reformulated in so called business speak. C’mon admit it. Are you blind. All hail stale rock n roll. Not me. I’m still growing.

    • Ask Mickey Mouse to give his friend Donald “Duck” Trump a serious talking to….Daisy Duck can take care of Bannon!

  6. From “The Theory and Practice of Oligarchical Collectivism”, the book within the book:

    “Ingsoc, which grew out of the earlier Socialist movement and inherited its phraseology, has in fact carried out the main item in the Socialist programme; with the result, foreseen and intended beforehand, that economic inequality has been made permanent.”

    USSR, Cuba, N. Korea.

  7. Also from Goldstein’s book. It’s a long one, but it’s worth it.

    “The new aristocracy was made up for the most part of bureaucrats, scientists, technicians, trade-union organizers, publicity experts, sociologists, teachers, journalists, and professional politicians. These people, whose origins lay in the salaried middle class and the upper grades of the working class, had been shaped and brought together by the barren world of monopoly industry and centralized government. As compared with their opposite numbers in past ages, they were less avaricious, less tempted by luxury, hungrier for pure power, and, above all, more conscious of what they were doing and more intent on crushing opposition. This last difference was cardinal. By comparison with that existing today, all the tyrannies of the past were half-hearted and inefficient. The ruling groups were always infected to some extent by liberal ideas, and were content to leave loose ends everywhere, to regard only the overt act and to be uninterested in what their subjects were thinking. Even the Catholic Church of the Middle Ages was tolerant by modern standards. Part of the reason for this was that in the past no government had the power to keep its citizens under constant surveillance. The invention of print, however, made it easier to manipulate public opinion, and the film and the radio carried the process further. With the development of television, and the technical advance which made it possible to receive and transmit simultaneously on the same instrument, private life came to an end. Every citizen, or at least every citizen important enough to be worth watching, could be kept for twenty-four hours a day under the eyes of the police and in the sound of official propaganda, with all other channels of communication closed. The possibility of enforcing not only complete obedience to the will of the State, but complete uniformity of opinion on all subjects, now existed for the first time.”

  8. Doublethink: the power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one’s mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them

  9. “Donald Trump” debuted his acting career as “himself” on “the Jefferson’s” in 1981. He’s acted in numerous roles as “himself” ever since. Just like Elvira. Just like “the Unknown comic”. Just like “Prince” or “Tiny Tim”. He’s a FICTIONAL character…

    Of course you already know that though… now go back to NOT knowing it again.

  10. It is truly amazing that so many of these comments reflect a reading of 1984, but no logical understanding. The Trump administration, despite its faults, is the polar opposite of an oppressive Orwellian hegemony. While I ca’t say this for most Republicans, he is actually trying to empower the people of Iowa (etc.), whom he knows are not stupid, though perhaps often less “educated.” You “educated folk” cling to the ignorance that is your power. You are the double thinkers, and you don’t know it, but that is classic Orwell. Yes, you are too educated to recognize common sense, so do the opposite, and scream for even bigger government that defines the left. And, don’t listen to anyone who disagrees with your “enlightened” perspective, because “War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength”…night is day, up is down, black is white. Let’s take down all of our historic statues and erase the past on our well educated, sophisticated road to PC utopia. Do most people even know that the Nazi party was/is Socialist?

    • Bill, they not only don’t get it, their indoctrination to the alphabet media narrative has turned many people who had a thought into mindless sheep. The PC culture has imbedded itself in every facet of our daily lives. Only those who think critically for themselves, the ones who know history and are willing to research facts for themselves, are left to help with the re-education. Silence is a killer of freedom and people need to stand up and be able to defend against the insanity.

  11. I don’t even know how I got to this website. I was reading some information about George Orwell’s 1984. Some of the comments on here are very intelligent and some are very ignorant. I don’t claim to be the former or the latter, but I do know that we live in a time when political correctness has silenced too many people. Free speech doesn’t even mean free speech anymore because it’s only a privilege for some. That is not what this country was built on, that is not what I think of when I think of what it means to be an American. Too many people have lost their interest in expressing patriotism because too many others are trying to silence the foundation of this country. Our basic beliefs have become a private way of life but ironically everyone knows what they are. Everyone else is an expert on how we are supposed to think instead of us remembering that we have minds of Our Own. Whatever happened to Growing Up and becoming our own person instead of looking at our front doors and realizing that there are people out there that want to tell us what to think and what to believe. Well, I think we’re better than that as Americans, I think we should know that we do have the freedom to discuss and communicate what we believe and think without hurting one another. Some people just forget how to do that.

  12. Nice to see a few people here get it.
    Big Brother, aka, Facebook, Apple, YouTube, has silenced Alex Jones. Control speech, erase those who speak out.

    Not a fan of AJ but I don’t need or want these people dictating who I can and cannot listen to. I can make up my own mind about the information people like Alex Jones provides, yet Big Brother sees it otherwise.

    1984 is chilling and we seem to be living the nightmare of it, driven by the Left. They cannot argue for their beliefs so they simply seek to silence.

    • Blah, blah, blah. Infowars is for entertainment purposes only. Alex Jones even declared so during a child custody case. Why should he be immune from social media (Facebook, YouTube, etc.) ‘terms of service’ just to appease your paranoia about censorship? He was spewing hatred and instigating violence with baseless sensationalism. Pig-human hybrids, Parkland shooting survivors were paid actors…. Do you really believe that stuff?

  13. “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.”……..Now there’s a good slogan for that twat corbyn !

  14. Can someone explain this quote please “The choice for mankind lies between freedom and happiness and for the great bulk of mankind, happiness is better.”

    Thank you.

    • I have some thoughts on that quote/topic.
      Most people (“bulk of mankind”) would rather have creature comforts than liberty. For them it is better to be comfortable (and shut up) than to object to the tyranny of any police state dictatorship. In our high tech surveillance governments it is better to “shut up” than to be persecuted, imprisoned or tortured.
      This 1984 quote seem consistent with this.

      “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.”

  15. Because in Happiness there is no struggle. In freedom you are fighting some or some entity everyday.

    Quote from Bravehart “FREEEEEEEDDDDDOOOOOMMMM.”

    IT is the only thing.
    Robert Freddie: Lain

  16. You conveniently forgot “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.”

  17. Maybe we should join together and stop what is happening and only getting worse. We and all ethnic groups other than BLM’s is asking for more and more and getting a lot of America under control….why? Let’s stand up for our Democracy.

  18. We need to stand up we need to demand the rights of our Democracy and not let a small group of one ethnic group say they will fight til they get everything they want.
    They want total control. Let’s stand up.

  19. I’m from the future, the past will already been rewritten, at this time they rewrite our present.

    It all has been fulfilled. 2+2=5 at the moment, maybe tomorrow it will be 3.

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

    This perfectly speaks to the left’s concept that men can have babies all the while knowing that is entirely impossible!!!

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