It was a bright day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen.
When George Orwell published his iconic novel 1984, also known as Nineteen Eighty-Four, he used that opening line to invite readers to question everything. Question the existence of life. Question the gaze put upon them at any waking moment. Question the normalcy of a potentially fictional reality. Orwell’s dystopian novel blurred the lines between fiction and reality.
A cultural phenomenon since its release in 1949, the cultural impact and relevance of 1984 has only grown as time’s gone on. In the wake of recent political upheaval and social turmoil occurring around the globe, particularly in the United States, the novel has become a best-seller once again. These quotes will show you why. Here are 10 Orwell quotes from 1984 that will have you questioning everything.
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1. “Perhaps a lunatic was simply a minority of one.”
2. “Reality exists in the human mind, and nowhere else.”
3. “But if thought corrupts language, language can also corrupt thought.”
4. “Who controls the past controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past.”
5. “Until they became conscious they will never rebel, and until after they have rebelled they cannot become conscious.”
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6. “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.”
7. “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.”
8. “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.”
9. “We know that no one ever seizes power with the intention of relinquishing it.”
10. “Big Brother is Watching You.”
Feature Image Courtesy of ‘Her Campus’.