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1984 quotes and meanings
Terms in this set (50)
"One of these days he will be vaporized. He is too intelligent. He sees too clearly and speaks too plainly. The Party does not like such people. One day he will disappear. It is written on his face" Orwell
A party member discusses how being over intelligent and smart enough to outwit the government will get you in trouble with the government. It is much better to keep quiet in the town of Oceania and never speak your thoughts. For your own thoughts may risk your life.
"The Enemy of the people.... the renegade and backslider who once, long ago had been one of the leading figures of the Party, almost on a level with Big Brother himself, and then had engaged in counterrevolutionary activities..."
Before the Big Brother party there was once a ruler who is now considered an enemy to the people of Oceania. He revolted against tyrant governments.
"For how could you establish even the most obvious fact when there existed no record outside your own memory?"
Orwell pg. 35
The government took over the minds so much that it was almost impossible for people to even think up their own thoughts. The people were completely brainwashed by their government and did not have a clue.
"If the party could thrust its hand into the past and say of this or that event, it never happened, that surely was more terrifying than mere torture and death?"
Orwell pg. 34
Not knowing what past life was like is more scary to Winston then knowing what torture they will receive if they try and dig into the old history. No one is allowed to know of the past and the happy times.
"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 to express it." (page 50)
The government erased every possible thought a person could have and replaced it with what they thought was the acceptable thing. The crime of having a unmoral thought is highly illegal in the town of Oceania.
"she only questioned the teachings of the Party when they in some way touched upon her own life. Often she was ready to accept the official mythology, simply because the difference between truth and falsehood did not seem important to her." Orwell 154
Winston talks about Julia and how the government was only important to her when it had to do with her only. The Party does not benefit her so she could care less about it.
"You will work for a while, you will be caught, you will confess, and then you will die... There is no possibility that any perceptible change will happen within our own lifetime. We are the dead."
Orwell Part 2, Chapter 8, pg. 177
O'Brien fakes himself as being a rebel against the government, he is testing to see if Julia and Winston would ever commit a crime or murder and find out if they are themselves against the Party.
"The Party makes the laws of Nature. He and Winston argue. Winston points out that there is a whole universe - stars, seas and fossils of ancient creatures. O'Brien denies these things are real. If the Party wished, it could blot out the stars and the seas, declare the sun goes around the earth, the earth is flat, and that Oceania is the whole universe."
The party plans everything their way and anything they say goes and must be believed by its people.
"Through its effective psychological manipulation tactics, the Party destroys all sense of independence and individuality."
Everyone wears the same clothes, eats the same food, and lives in the same grungy apartments. Life is uniform and orderly. No one can stand out, and no one can be unique.
"Independent thought can be dangerous, as it might lead to rebellion. This theme comes to a head during Winston's torture." http://www.gradesaver.com/1984/study-guide/themes
To have an independent thought borders on the criminal. For this reason, writing such as Winston does in his diary has been outlawed. People are only permitted to think what the Party tells them.
"Winston and Julia's downfall occurs because they believe they are special. Their arrest and torture, however, breaks this and their individual thoughts."
Orwell's is warning readers against embracing any version of totalitarian rule.
"The party seeks power entirely for its own sake. We are not interested in the good of others; we are interested solely in power. Not wealth or luxury or long life or happiness: only power, pure power."
Orwell pg. 99
The party could care less about the people, and they will turn their criminals into what the party says they need to be. No one is allowed to be happy in this life. The party will not make any mistakes again for it is perfect to itself.
"There will be no loyalty, except loyalty towards the Party. There will be no love, except the love of Big Brother."
Orwell pg. 34
The world that the Party aspires to create is a world unlike any other. Fear and torture replaces love and happiness. Loyalty to the party is the only acceptable loyalty.
"The primary aim of modern warfare is to use up the products of the machine without raising the general standard of living."
Goldstein's Manifesto of 1984
War is a necessary for Oceania because it keeps the standard of living in check, such as living in a totalitarian state.
"In Oceania at the present day, Science, in the old sense, has almost ceased to exist."
The Party uses technology to reduce human freedom and privacy, and control all human behaviors.
"People simply disappeared, always during the night. Your name was removed from the registers, every record of everything you had ever done was wiped out, your one-time existence was denied and then forgotten. You were abolished, annihilated: vaporized was the usual word."
Orwell ch. 1
The party wipes out the peoples knowledge of everything including who they are. It extinguishes their own personality and character making them the perfect people in the image of the party.
"...to do anything that suggested a taste for solitude, even to go for a walk by yourself, was always slightly dangerous. There was a word for it in Newspeak: ownlife..."
Orwell pg. 72
The government found everything suspicious, like walking alone, because they thought you were in unmoral thought. It wasn't good to be alone because that is where most thinking occurs.
"The proles, normally apathetic about the war were being tested into one of their periodical frenzies of patriotism."
The proles (working people) live in ignorance. They aren't educated so the party leaves them alone. They aren't seen as a threat.
"Not merely the love of one person, just the animal instinct that would tear the party to pieces."
Winston is in love with Julia. It is against the party to be in a non-committing relationship with another. The party looks down and forbids this. The party controls human nature.
"The proles are human beings, we are not human beings."
Winston says this to Julia and says they are proles but they do not act like most of them should and do not believe in what the party believes in so he feels he doesnt fit in society.
"The essential act of the party is to use conscious deception while retaining the firmness of the purpose that goes with complete honesty."
Orwell ch. 9 pg. 215
Big Brother is devious and will do anything to make it's people believe in what it says and wants them to believe.
"Until they become conscious they will never rebel, and until after they have rebelled they cannot become conscious."
Orwell ch. 7 pg. 74
The people cannot rebel. They need to first see the fault in the part but the party makes it seem like nothing is wrong. IF anyone tries to overcome the part the party will brainwash them and make their memories unknown. They will become lost souls with no conscious.
"Was the party's hold upon the past less strong, because a piece of evidence which existed no longer had once existed."
Orwell pg. 79
Party distorts the past and prevents anyone history. Party has that much power over the people that it's able to fade away it's old history.
"It was a bright cold day in April and the clocks were striking thirteen."
As it says the clocks were thirteen, in our lives there is no such thing but the government in 1984 is in charge of everything and when they say it is 13 o clock then its 13 o clock.
"The instrument (the telescreen it was called) could be dimmed but there was no way of shutting it off completely."
Orwell pg. 2
A camera or recording televison seems to be in every room in every citizens house to watch what the people are doing. It's like the city is always on lock down and are always being watched.
"War is peace Freedom is slavery Ignorance is strength."
Orwell pg. 6
Three words that are the official slogan of the Party and located on the Ministry of Truth where Winston works. The party forces the people" to accept anything it rules.
"But it was all right, everything was all right, the struggle was finished. He had won the victory over himself. He loved Big Brother."
Orwell pg. 298
Winston comes to realize that it wasn't a good idea to fight/rebel against Big Brother. Government always win/empowers over the people.
"Outside, even through the shut window pane, the world looked cold.
Orwell pg. 2
Winston doesn't seem to feel happy with the government rule over him, it defeats all happiness and the world he lives in is cruel and cold under the party's rule.
"...the poster with the with the enormous face gazed from the wall. It was one of those pictures which are so contrived that the eyes follow you."
Everywhere you turn these posters watch you and the part creeps over you.
"Your worst enemy was your own nervous system. Ar any moment the tension inside you was liable to translate itself into some visible symptom."
Orwell pg. 64
The government can always spot if your nervous it led to suspicion. For there was no need to be nervous in the presence of the party since you should be following all rules. Winston was always in fear for he did not believe in the party.
"...at the end of it a colored poster, too large for indoor display had been taken to the wall. It simply an enormous face."
Orwell pg. 1
There is the same motto under every poster. Who is Big Brother, he is unknown yet has so much power over the people.
"Big Brother is watching you,the caption said while the dark eyes looked deep into Winston's own. Down the street another poster, torn at every corner flapped into the wind."
Orwell pg. 2
Big Brother/the government is watching at every corner to check up on it's people. It needs to know everything that goes on under it's totalitarian rule.
"In the end the Party would announce that two and two made fiver, and you would have to believe it."
Orwell ch. 7
Party brainwashes the people so much that the people must believe in things that don't make much sense at all. The party controls the minds of it's subjects.
"In the far distance a helicopter skimmed down between the roofs, hovered for an instant like a blue-bottle and darted away with a curving flight. It was the Police Patrol snooping into people's windows."
Orwell pg. 2
The town seems to be under constant & complete watch & have to keep checking up on the people. It's like a big crime has taken place & the town is on lock-down.
"Who controls the past controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past."
Orwell pg. 37
Another government party slogan. Winston recollects on the past with a man named O'Brien whom he trusts. Slogan points out that the party uses false history to damage the minds of it's subjects.
"even people who could barely read and write seemed capable of intricate calculations and staggering feats of memory." Orwell 72
In this line Winston analyses how even though these people are uneducated in every way, the proles still show us that they are intelligent through everyday activities. This quote gives us a sense that it is not the capability that the human brain lacks but rather the situation it is put in.
"And when memory failed and written records were falsified—when that happened, the claim of the Party to have improved the conditions of human life had got to be accepted, because there did not exist, and never again could exist, any standard against which it could be tested." Orwell 79
In this quote Winston shows the true power of history, no matter what the period. By feeding the people falsified information constantly and hiding the truth, the government in this book can get the people to believe almost anything. Complete dominance over the mind
"At the sight of the words I love you the desire to stay alive had welled up in him, and the taking of minor risks suddenly seemed stupid." Orwell 91
This quote shows the over powering feeling of love in human nature. Even as Winston was ready to give up completely, even though he knows that love for fun is unacceptable and showing emotions for someone else in frowned upon in Oceania.
"He thought with a kind of astonishment of the biological uselessness of pain and fear, the treachery of the human body which always freezes into inertia at exactly the moment when a special effort is needed." Orwell 86
Winston describes how it tends to be pain and fear that stop you from standing up for yourself. When frightened your entire brain just shuts down, preventing you from acting as quickly as you might want to as an individual.
"What appealed to him about it was not so much its beauty as the air it seemed to possess of belonging to an age quite different from the present one." Orwell 81
Winston is obsessed with the past that he has no clue about. He is not looking for his future but just what once was and how everything changed. He believes at one time the Party was really good.
"The children, on the other hand, were systematically turned against their parents and taught to spy on them and report their deviations. The family had become in effect an extension of the Thought Police." Orwell 111
The government even takes children to turn against their families and friends and spy on them. Making sure they stick to the governments rules. This makes it impossible for a family to even bond and share a personality between the family.
"The terrible thing that the Party had done was to persuade you that mere impulses, mere feelings, were of no account, while at the same time robbing you of all power over the material world. When once you were in the grip of the Party, what you felt or did not feel, what you did or refrained from doing, made literally no difference." Orwell 136
The party took away basic freedoms of the people like freedom of speech and other things. This sort of makes the people slaves to their own society and government.
"The rocket bombs which fell daily on London were probably fired by the Government of Oceania itself, 'just to keep people frightened.'" Orwell 127
By giving the people a false sense of danger, the government can also give them a false sense of safety. In doing this the government once again limits a certain amount of thoughts against it from people within their society.
"one of those completely unquestioning, devoted drudges on whom, more even than on the Thought Police, the stability of the Party depended." Orwell pg. 23
Talks about how parents are proud of their children on spying on others and respecting the tormenting government.
"Life, if you looked about you, bore no resemblance not only to the lies that streamed out of the telescreens, but even to the ideals that the Party was trying to achieve." Orwell 74
Winston has this thought while considering whether the proles could ever rebel. This passage is a description of the contrast between reality and what the Party would have its members believe.
"This process of continuous alteration was applied not only to newspapers, but to books, periodicals, pamphlets, posters, leaflets, films, soundtracks, cartoons, photographs—to every kind of literature or documentation which might conceivably hold any political or ideological significance." Orwell 40
The process of the government changing the past, which is Winston's job. By controlling the past, the Party is able to manipulate the minds of Party members.
"Everything faded into mist. The past was erased, the erasure was forgotten, the lie became truth." Orwell
The past not only changed, but changed continuously. What most worried Winston with the sense of nightmare that Big Brother has. The immediate advantages of falsifying the past were obvious, but the ultimate motive was mysterious. Winston wondered, whether he himself was a lunatic.
"I understand HOW: I do not understand WHY." Orwell 80
Winston understands how the process of falsifying the past works, yet is unable to understand why Big Brother would feel the need to change the past in the first place. They are always seen as being so positive but Winston feels like they hate everyone.
"They can't get inside of you. If you can feel that staying human is worth while, even when it can't have any result whatever, you've beaten them." Orwell 166
Winston explains to Julia how he likes the fact that he is the only one who freely thinks and restricted thoughts are in his mind yet he thinks he shouldn't be caught.
"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." Orwell 236
The Party seeks power for its own sake. Its power is absolute and no one is able to challenge it. It keep it masses in isolation from one another, making them unable to compare them themselves to other societies.
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