Quotes from 1984

I could not believe a book could bring one close to the point of tears. Especially a half-century-old book. But there it is; the best novel I’ve read in my life so far. Nineteen Eighty-Four, by George Orwell.

  • War is Peace. Freedom is Slavery. Ignorance is Strength.
  • If you kept the small rules, you could break the big ones.
  • The best books are those that tell you what you know already.
  • 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…
  • Freedom is the freedom to say that two plus two make four. If that is granted, all else follows.
  • Never, for any reason on earth, could you wish for an increase of pain. 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…
  • To die hating them, that was freedom.
  • Under the spreading chestnut tree
    I sold you and you sold me:
    There lie they, and here lie we
    Under the spreading chestnut tree.
  • The command of the old despotisms was “Thou shalt not”. The command of the totalitarians was “Thou shalt”. Our command is “Thou art”.
  • Somehow you will fail. Something will defeat you. Life will defeat you.


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