The world hasn’t changed a great deal and yet, it has. George Orwell’s 1984 quotes can still apply to the political and social norms of today.
George Orwell, also known as Eric Arthur Blair, wrote his famous novel ‘1984‘ as a way of shedding light on totalitarianism, or total authoritarianism. He strove to oust the “hidden” political and social agendas of his time. Does this sound familiar? Well, it should. Quotes by George Orwell that can be found in 1984 still make sense in our society today.
Are we paying attention?
The truth is many situations that we’re going through now mirror the truths of Orwell’s lifetime. While 1984 was written in 1949, we can still relate to many of the truths and ideas now. And the truth is, we are never really alone and free from the eyes of “Big Brother”. Don’t believe me? Read on.
Most remarkable George Orwell quotes from 1984:
1. “Big Brother is watching you”
Speaking of truths, here’s a quote getting straight to the point that you never really have any freedom or privacy at all. This quote simply means that you are always under surveillance, and every move you make is controlled by the government. In Orwell’s book, 1984, this quote is a warning not to oppose the government. It reminded society that they were always seen, no matter how inconspicuous their actions.
Just the other day, a certain social site on the internet started taking down posts, flagging them as threatening or against the site’s policies. Many of these posts were about the Covid19 virus sweeping across the globe. After many complaints, the post bans stopped. Could it be? Was “Big Brother” watching us and becoming disappointed by our truths? Think about it.
2. “You’re only a rebel from the waist downwards”
In the novel, Orwell’s main character Winston is in love with a woman named Julia. They are rebelling against the state, the totalitarian structure of their world. While Winston is intellectual, striving to not only rebel but also to make changes and open the minds of others, Julia is simply rebellious for her own sake alone.
In simple terms, maybe Julia is happy to run from the state but not aware enough to go as far as Winston when it comes to free-thinking, which I might add is subjective. After all, even the thoughts of society are meant to be monitored through subtle manipulation.
Only being a rebel from the waist down takes no intellectual rebellion, and Julia laughs away Winston’s words which further prove their relationship will never work. These same situations and relationships exist today and affect little to no change.
3. “Until they become conscious, they will never rebel”
Here’s another example of Julia’s condition, and a great example of the “stuck” people in our world now. It seems Winston talks about people as if they are asleep, and in a way they are. Not being conscious of what’s really going on is like not being awake at all. Everything you see, hear, and experience is a dream. It’s not real, and yet you’ve been trained to see reality as it appears.
Until you wake from the dream and become conscious of the whole truth, you will never rebel against the lies you’re being sold. Your brainwashed condition will continue to be your blissful and ignorant reality. Can you see it, just a little glimmer of the truth?
I’m sorry to tell you, but Orwell knew all too well how we would be existing today. So many of us would be unconscious and thus, marching right along to the same comforting beat.
4. “For the first time he perceived that if you want to keep a secret, you must also keep it from yourself”
I think this rings true through all time. Although we think we can keep a secret, we can only successfully keep that secret if we also keep it from ourselves. In other words, we must believe the lies we tell ourselves and pretend we do not know the things that have been told to us in confidence.
This means separating one part of yourself from the other as if the part of you that functions through day to day life doesn’t know the secret. In a way, it’s like turning a blind eye to the truth.
5. “War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength”
It seems that Orwell understood all too well the extent of our brainwashing. The state coaxed society, in the novel 1984, to believe the opposite of the truth. Even today, we see waging war as bringing about peace. We see freedom as this strange liberty of keeping others under oppression for our “safety”.
We also see the act of staying ignorant as a strength. When in truth, we are afraid to know what really happens when we believe the other way around. When we follow these three lies, we follow the majority and lose sight of the truth completely.
Are we reliving 1984?
1984 quotes by George Orwell remind us that we may indeed be basically the same drones that we were in his time. It’s depressing to think that instead of thinking for ourselves, we bow to strict authoritarian rule. The scariest part is that we’re not even aware that we’re doing so.
I’m not saying we should all run out and rebel, riot and cause mass disturbances. On the contrary, I think we should simply wake up and realize the truth of our situation. Little by little, as we awaken, maybe we can cause some small changes in our world today. At least we can have a bit more hope and strength knowing we’re not just insane and imagining these ideas.
Just two words I leave for you today. Stay awake!
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