Pack away your cameras, turn off your phone’s GPS and question everything. It’s time to celebrate the birthday of Eric Arthur Blair—or, as lit fans know him, George Orwell.
Orwell, who was born in India in 1903, went on to write two of the greatest pieces of satire and social commentary of the 20th century: Animal Farm, which took on social status under the lens of an England farm, and 1984, a novel that introduced Big Brother, government surveillance and only becomes more haunting as technology advances. In celebration of one of literature’s greatest satirists, we’ve compiled 10 of our favorite Orwell quotes. Share your own in the comment section below.
1 of 10
"All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others." - Animal Farm
2 of 10
"He who controls the past controls the future. He who controls the present controls the past." - 1984
3 of 10
"The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again; but already it was impossible to say which was which." - Animal Farm
4 of 10
"On the whole human beings want to be good, but not too good, and not quite all the time." - All Art is Propaganda: Critical Essays
5 of 10
"Perhaps one did not want to be loved so much as to be understood." - 1984
6 of 10
"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. He sets them to work, he gives back to them the bare minimum that will prevent them from starving, and the rest he keeps for himself." - Animal Farm
7 of 10
"Until they became conscious they will never rebel, and until after they have rebelled they cannot become conscious." - 1984
8 of 10
"The essence of being human is that one does not seek perfection." - Reflections on Gandhi.
9 of 10
"In the face of pain there are no heroes." - 1984
10 of 10
"In a time of deceit telling the truth is a revolutionary act." - 1984