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1984 › Quotes

1984 Quotes

Perhaps one did not want to be loved so much as to be understood.
Who controls the past controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past.
War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength.
The best books... are those that tell you what you know already.
But if thought corrupts language, language can also corrupt thought.
If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face—for ever.
It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen.
We shall meet in the place where there is no darkness.
Doublethink means the power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one's mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them.
Until they become conscious they will never rebel, and until after they have rebelled they cannot become conscious.
In the face of pain there are no heroes.
Power is in tearing human minds to pieces and putting them together again in new shapes of your own choosing.
If you loved someone, you loved him, and when you had nothing else to give, you still gave him love.
Perhaps a lunatic was simply a minority of one.
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.
Reality exists in the human mind, and nowhere else.
Freedom is the freedom to say that two plus two make four. If that is granted, all else follows.
Big Brother is Watching You.
It's a beautiful thing, the destruction of words.
The choice for mankind lies between freedom and happiness and for the great bulk of mankind, happiness is better.
I enjoy talking to you. Your mind appeals to me. It resembles my own mind except that you happen to be insane.
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?.
Nothing was your own except the few cubic centimetres inside your skull.
Orthodoxy means not thinking--not needing to think. Orthodoxy is unconsciousness.
Sanity is not statistical.
You are a slow learner, Winston." "How can I help it? How can I help but see what is in front of my eyes? Two and two are four." "Sometimes, Winston. Sometimes they are five. Sometimes they are three. Sometimes they are all of them at once. You must try harder. It is not easy to become sane.
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.
To die hating them, that was freedom.
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.
The object of terrorism is terrorism. The object of oppression is oppression. The object of torture is torture. The object of murder is murder. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?.
One does not establish a dictatorship in order to safeguard a revolution; one makes the revolution in order to establish the dictatorship.
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.
There was truth and there was untruth, and if you clung to the truth even against the whole world, you were not mad.
We know that no one ever seizes power with the intention of relinquishing it.
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.
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.
If you can feel that staying human is worth while, even when it can't have any result whatever, you've beaten them.
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.
If you kept the small rules, you could break the big ones.
The Ministry of Peace concerns itself with war, the Ministry of Truth with lies, the Ministry of Love with torture and the Ministry of Plenty with starvation. These contradictions are not accidental, nor do they result from from ordinary hypocrisy: they are deliberate exercises in doublethink.
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.
So long as they (the Proles) continued to work and breed, their other activities were without importance. Left to themselves, like cattle turned loose upon the plains of Argentina, they had reverted to a style of life that appeared to be natural to them, a sort of ancestral pattern...Heavy physical work, the care of home and children, petty quarrels with neighbors, films, football, beer and above all, gambling filled up the horizon of their minds. To keep them in control was not difficult.
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.
We are the dead. Our only true life is in the future.
The consequences of every act are included in the act itself.
April the 4th, 1984. To the past, or to the future. To an age when thought is free. From the Age of Big Brother, from the Age of the Thought Police, from a dead man - greetings!.
If both the past and the external world exist only in the mind, and if the mind itself is controllable - what then?.
It was curious to think that the sky was the same for everybody, in Eurasia or Eastasia as well as here. And the people under the sky were also very much the same--everywhere, all over the world, hundreds or thousands of millions of people just like this, people ignorant of one another's existence, held apart by walls of hatred and lies, and yet almost exactly the same--people who had never learned to think but were storing up in their hearts and bellies and muscles the power that would one day overturn the world.
The essential act of war is destruction, not necessarily of human lives, but of the products of human labour. War is a way of shattering to pieces, or pouring into the stratosphere, or sinking in the depths of the sea, materials which might otherwise be used to make the masses too comfortable, and hence, in the long run, too intelligent.
In a way, the world−view of the Party imposed itself most successfully on people incapable of understanding it. They could be made to accept the most flagrant violations of reality, because they never fully grasped the enormity of what was demanded of them, and were not sufficiently interested in public events to notice what was happening. By lack of understanding they remained sane. They simply swallowed everything, and what they swallowed did them no harm, because it left no residue behind, just as a grain of corn will pass undigested through the body of a bird.
You're only a rebel from the waist downwards,’ he told her.
It struck him that in moments of crisis one is never fighting against an external enemy, but always against one’s own body... On the battlefield, in the torture chamber, on a sinking ship, the issues that you are fighting for are always forgotten, because the body swells up until it fills the universe, and even when you are not paralysed by fright or screaming with pain, life is a moment-to-moment struggle against hunger or cold or sleeplessness, against a sour stomach or an aching tooth.
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.
But it was alright, everything was alright, the struggle was finished. He had won the victory over himself. He loved Big Brother.
Stupidity was as necessary as intelligence, and as difficult to attain.
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 round him. She had become a physical necessity.
If he were allowed contact with foreigners he would discover that they are creatures similar to himself and that most of what he has been told about them is lies. The sealed world in which he lives would be broken, and the fear, hatred, and self-righteousness on which his morale depends might evaporate. It is therefore realized on all sides that however ofter Persia, or Egypt, or Java, or Ceylon may change hands, the main frontiers must never be crossed by anything except bombs.
I hate purity, I hate goodness! I don't want virtue to exist anywhere. I want everyone to be corrupt to the bones.
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.
Until they become conscious, they will never rebel.
Sometimes they threaten you with something - something you can't stand up to, can't even think about. And then you say, "Don't do it to me, do it to somebody else, do it to So-and-so." And perhaps you might pretend, afterwards, that it was only a trick and that you just said it to make them stop and didn't mean it. But that isn't true. At the time when it happens you do mean it. You think there's no other way of saving yourself, and you're quite ready to save yourself that way. You WANT it to happen to the other person. You don't give a damn what they suffer. All you care is yourself.
But the thought of being a lunatic did not greatly trouble him; the horror was that he might also be wrong.
You must try harder. It is not easy to become sane.
Those who control the present, control the past and those who control the past control the future.
If there is hope, it lies in the proles.
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 — greetings!.
Perhaps a lunatic was simply a minority of one. At one time it had been a sign of madness to believe that the Earth goes round the Sun; today, to believe the past is inalterable. He might be alone in holding that belief, and if alone, then a lunatic. But the thought of being a lunatic did not greatly trouble him; the horror was that he might also be wrong.
He gazed up at the enormous face. Forty years it had taken him to learn what kind of smile was hidden beneath the dark moustache. O cruel, needless misunderstanding! O stubborn, self-willed exile from the loving breast! Two gin-scented tears trickled down the sides of his nose. But it was all right, everything was all right, the struggle was finished. He had won the victory over himself. He loved Big Brother.
The Revolution will be complete when the language is perfect.
There will be no curiosity, no enjoyment of the process of life. All competing pleasures will be destroyed. But always— do not forget this, Winston— always there will be the intoxication of power, constantly increasing and constantly growing subtler. Always, at every moment, there will be the thrill of victory, the sensation of trampling on an enemy who is helpless. If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face— forever.