George Orwell: His 11 Finest Quotes

To mark the writer's birthday, we round up his finest observations

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'Doublethink', 'newsspeak', 'Big Brother': George Orwell's words and phrases are stuck in our language and burrowed in our culture. 

But while politics was his great obsession, a lot of what Eric Arthur Blair wrote doubles as useful observations for life in general.

To mark his birthday, here are some of our favourites.

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“If you set yourself to it, you can live the same life, rich or poor. You can keep on with your books and your ideas." 
– Down And Out In Paris And London

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"On the whole, human beings want to be good, but not too good, and not quite all the time."
–The Art of Donald McGill


 
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"Orthodoxy means not thinking – not needing to think. Orthodoxy is unconsciousness.”
– Nineteen Eighty-Four
 

"Man is the only creature that consumes without producing. He does not give milk, he does not lay eggs, he is too weak to pull the plough, he cannot run fast enough to catch rabbits. Yet he is lord of all the animals."
–  Animal Farm


"Political language... is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind."
– Politics and the English Language


“To survive you often have to fight, and to fight you have to dirty yourself.”
Looking Back on the Spanish War


 

"The essence of being human is that one does not seek perfection."
– Reflections on Gandhi, in Partisan Review


"Men can only be happy when they do not assume that the object of life is happiness." 
– The Ethics of the Detective Story from Raffles to Miss Blandish


"Each generation imagines itself to be more intelligent than the one that went before it, and wiser than the one that comes after it."
– Review of A Coat of Many Colours: Occasional Essays by Herbert Read, Poetry Quarterly, 1945)


Have we missed out one of your favourite Orwell quotes? Let us know in the comments below. 

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