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Quotations From GEORGE ORWELL

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  • 1.
    If you want a vision of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face—forever.
    George Orwell (1903-1950), British author. O'Brien to Winston Smith, in Nineteen Eighty-Four, pt. 3, ch. 3 (1949).

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  • 2.
    A tragic situation exists precisely when virtue does not triumph but when it is still felt that man is nobler than the forces which destroy him.
    George Orwell (1903-1950), British author. "Lear, Tolstoy and the Fool," Shooting an Elephant (1950).
  • 3.
    To walk through the ruined cities of Germany is to feel an actual doubt about the continuity of civilization.
    George Orwell (1903-1950), British author. Observer (London, April 8, 1945).
  • 4.
    It was a bright, cold day in April and the clocks were striking thirteen.
    George Orwell (1903-1950), British author. Nineteen Eighty-Four, pt. 1, ch. 1 (1949). Opening words.

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  • 5.
    War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength.
    George Orwell (1903-1950), British author. Nineteen Eighty-Four, pt. 1, ch. 1 (1949). Ingsoc party slogan.

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  • 6.
    The sexual act, successfully performed, was rebellion. Desire was thoughtcrime.
    George Orwell (1903-1950), British novelist. Nineteen Eighty-Four, Part 1, sect. 6 (1948).
  • 7.
    Doublethink means the power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one's mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them.
    George Orwell (1903-1950), British author. Nineteen Eighty-Four, pt. 2, ch. 9 (1949). Extract from Goldstein's book; see also F. Scott Fitzgerald's comment under "intelligence."

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  • 8.
    To survive it is often necessary to fight and to fight you have to dirty yourself.
    George Orwell (1903-1950), British author. repr. In Collected Essays (1961). "Looking Back on the Spanish War," (1943).
  • 9.
    There is hardly such a thing as a war in which it makes no difference who wins. Nearly always one side stands more or less for progress, the other side more or less for reaction.
    George Orwell (1903-1950), British author. repr. In Collected Essays (1961). "Looking Back on the Spanish War," (1943).

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  • 10.
    He is fiddling while Rome is burning, and, unlike the enormous majority of people who do this, fiddling with his face towards the flames.
    George Orwell (1903-1950), British author. "Inside the Whale," Inside the Whale and Other Essays (1940). "It is as though you could hear a voice speaking to you," Orwell wrote of Henry Miller, "a friendly American voice, with no humbug in it, no moral purpose, merely an implicit assumption that we are all alike."

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