25 Eerie Quotes From George Orwell's '1984' That Are Oddly Relevant Today

Big Brother is watching you.

25 Eerie 1984 Quotes That Are Frighteningly Relevant In 2020

1984 is George Orwell's dystopian novel that was published in 1949. Although it came out in the late 40s, it is unfortunately still proving relevant today. 

The novel 1984 takes place in Oceania, which covers the continents of America, Oceania, and the British Isles. In the novel, it mainly takes place in Great Britain but is referred to as “Airstrip One.” Oceania is the home of an ongoing war, where individuality and independent thought are punished by the Thought Police. The citizens are governed by the upper class called the Inner Party, who has a head leader referred to as Big Brother. 


The novel’s protagonist is Winston Smith who works for the Ministry of Truth, a sector that controls propaganda, and he rewrites newspaper articles to make sure that it is in line with the government's views. Although he is good at his job, Smith does not side with The Party and hopes to resist them. Winston Smith could be punished by death if he speaks against the government and shares his own thoughts. So, he takes a big risk when he decides to document all of his beliefs and thoughts in a diary on April 4, 1984. 

1984 is frighteningly relevant today.

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If any of this sounds somewhat familiar to you, you're not alone. Many of the things we as citizens are going through today seem eerily similar to Orwell's plotline.

These 1984 quotes will help you see the similarities for yourself.

1. "The Party told you to reject the evidence of your eyes and ears. It was their final, most essential command."

2. “But it was alright, everything was alright, the struggle was finished. He had won the victory over himself. He loved Big Brother.”


3. “…the object of waging a war is always to be in a better position in which to wage another war.”

4. “For the first time he perceived that if you want to keep a secret you must also hide it from yourself.”

5. “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!”

6. “Never again will you be capable of ordinary human feeling. Everything will be dead inside you. Never again will you be capable of love, or friendship, or the joy of living, or laughter, or curiosity, or courage, or integrity. You will be hollow. We shall squeeze you empty, and then we shall fill you with ourselves.”


7. “Tragedy, he perceived, belonged to the ancient time, to a time when there were still privacy, love, and friendship, and when the members of a family stood by one another without needing to know the reason.”

8. “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.'”

9. “In the end, the Party would announce that two and two made five, and you would have to believe it. It was inevitable that they should make that claim sooner or later: the logic of their position demanded it.”


10. “Every record has been destroyed or falsified, every book was 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.”

11. “Freedom is the freedom to say that two plus two make four. If that is granted, all else follows.”

12. “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.”

13. “Power is in tearing human minds to pieces and putting them together again in new shapes of your own choosing.”


14. “The ideal set up by the Party was something huge, terrible, and glittering—a world of steel and concrete, of monstrous machines and terrifying weapons—a nation of warriors and fanatics, marching forward in perfect unity, all thinking the same thoughts and shouting the same slogans, perpetually working, fighting, triumphing, persecuting—three hundred million people all with the same face.”

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15. “We know that no one ever seizes power with the intention of relinquishing it.”


16. “Who controls the past controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past.”

17. “You had to live — did live, from habit that became instinct — in the assumption that every sound you made was overheard, and, except in darkness, every moment scrutinized.”

18. “There was truth and there was untruth, and if you clung to the truth even against the whole world, you were not mad.”


19. “Always eyes watching you and the voice enveloping you. Asleep or awake, indoors or out of doors, in the bath or bed — no escape. Nothing was your own except the few cubic centimeters in your skull.”

20. “What can you do, thought Winston, against the lunatic who is more intelligent than yourself; who gives your arguments a fair hearing and simply persists in his lunacy?”

21. “Not merely the validity of experience, but the very existence of external reality was tacitly denied by their philosophy. The heresy of heresies was common sense.”


22. "It was almost normal for people over thirty to be frightened of their own children."

23. "The heresy of heresies was common sense.'"

24. "The horrible thing about the Two Minutes Hate was not that one was obliged to act a part, but that it was impossible to avoid joining in."

25. "Thoughtcrime was not a thing that could be concealed forever. You might dodge successfully for a while, even for years, but sooner or later they were bound to get you."


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Jaycee Levin is an Instagram influencer and writer who covers astrology, spirituality, love and relationships.