1984: Important Quotes Explained | SparkNotes (2022)

Book One, Chapter I: Doublethink

WAR IS PEACE
FREEDOM IS SLAVERY
IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH

These words are the official slogansof the Party, and are inscribed in massive letters on the whitepyramid of the Ministry of Truth, as Winston observes in Book One,Chapter I. Because it is introduced so early in the novel, thiscreed serves as the reader’s first introduction to the idea of doublethink.By weakening the independence and strength of individuals’ mindsand forcing them to live in a constant state of propaganda-inducedfear, the Party is able to force its subjects to accept anythingit decrees, even if it is entirely illogical—for instance, the Ministryof Peace is in charge of waging war, the Ministry of Love is incharge of political torture, and the Ministry of Truth is in chargeof doctoring history books to reflect the Party’s ideology.

(Video) Video SparkNotes: Orwell's 1984 Summary

That the national slogan of Oceania is equally contradictoryis an important testament to the power of the Party’s mass campaignof psychological control. In theory, the Party is able to maintainthat “War Is Peace” because having a common enemy keeps the people ofOceania united. “Freedom Is Slavery” because, according to the Party,the man who is independent is doomed to fail. By the same token,“Slavery Is Freedom,” because the man subjected to the collectivewill is free from danger and want. “Ignorance Is Strength” becausethe inability of the people to recognize these contradictions cementsthe power of the authoritarian regime.

Book One, Chapter III: Party Control of History

Who controls the past controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past.

(Video) 6 Quotes From Orwell’s 1984 That Have Come True

This Party slogan appears twice in the novel, once in Book One, Chapter III, when Winston is thinking about the Party’s control of history and memory, and once in Book Three, Chapter II, when Winston, now a prisoner in the Ministry of Love, talks to O’Brien about the nature of the past. The slogan is an important example of the Party’s technique of using false history to break down the psychological independence of its subjects. Control of the past ensures control of the future, because the past can be treated essentially as a set of conditions that justify or encourage future goals: if the past was idyllic, then people will act to re-create it; if the past was nightmarish, then people will act to prevent such circumstances from recurring. The Party creates a past that was a time of misery and slavery from which it claims to have liberated the human race, thus compelling people to work toward the Party’s goals.

The Party has complete political power in the present, enabling it to control the way in which its subjects think about and interpret the past: every history book reflects Party ideology, and individuals are forbidden from keeping mementos of their own pasts, such as photographs and documents. As a result, the citizens of Oceania have a very short, fuzzy memory, and are willing to believe anything that the Party tells them. In the second appearance of this quote, O’Brien tells Winston that the past has no concrete existence and that it is real only in the minds of human beings. O’Brien is essentially arguing that because the Party’s version of the past is what people believe, that past, though it has no basis in real events, has become the truth.

Book One, Chapter VII: 2 + 2 = 5

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. Not merely the validity of experience, but the very existence of external reality was tacitly denied by their philosophy.

(Video) 1984 by George Orwell - Summary, Plot, Analysis, Famous Quotes, Famous books playlist.

This quote occurs in Book One, Chapter VII, as Winston looks at a children’s history book and marvels at the Party’s control of the human mind. These lines play into the theme of psychological manipulation. In this case, Winston considers the Party’s exploitation of its fearful subjects as a means to suppress the intellectual notion of objective reality. If the universe exists only in the mind, and the Party controls the mind, then the Party controls the universe. As Winston thinks, “For, after all, how do we know that two and two make four? Or that the force of gravity works? Or that the past is unchangeable? If both the past and the external world exist only in the mind, and if the mind itself is controllable—what then?” The mathematical sentence 2 + 2 = 5 thus becomes a motif linked to the theme of psychological independence. Early in the novel, Winston writes that “Freedom is the freedom to say that two plus two make four.” The motif comes full circle at the end of the novel after the torture Winston suffers in the Ministry of Love breaks his soul; he sits at the Chestnut Tree Café and traces “2 + 2 = 5” in the dust on his table.

Book One, Chapter VIII: Rewriting History

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.

(Video) What are the Key Themes in 1984? (+ Essay Examples)

This quote from Book One, Chapter VIII, emphasizes how one’s understanding of the past affects one’s attitude about the present. Winston has just had a frustrating conversation with an old man about life before the Revolution, and he realizes that the Party has deliberately set out to weaken people’s memories in order to render them unable to challenge what the Party claims about the present. If no one remembers life before the Revolution, then no one can say that the Party has failed mankind by forcing people to live in conditions of poverty, filth, ignorance, and hunger. Rather, the Party uses rewritten history books and falsified records to prove its good deeds.

Book Three, Chapter VI: Pain Trumps Moral Convictions

And perhaps you might pretend, afterwards, that it was only a trick and that you just said it to make them stop and didn’t really mean it. But that isn’t true. At the time when it happens you do mean it. You think there’s no other way of saving yourself and you’re quite ready to save yourself that way. You want it to happen to the other person. You don’t give a damn what they suffer. All you care about is yourself.

(Video) 1984 | Summary & Analysis | George Orwell

Julia speaks these lines to Winston in Book Three, Chapter VI, as they discuss what happened to them in Room 101. She tells him that she wanted her torture to be shifted to him, and he responds that he felt exactly the same way. These acts of mutual betrayal represent the Party’s final psychological victory. Soon after their respective experiences in Room 101, Winston and Julia are set free as they no longer pose a threat to the Party. Here, Julia says that despite her efforts to make herself feel better, she knows that in order to save herself she really did want the Party to torture Winston. In the end, the Party proves to Winston and Julia that no moral conviction or emotional loyalty is strong enough to withstand torture. Physical pain and fear will always cause people to betray their convictions if doing so will end their suffering.

Winston comes to a similar conclusion during his own stint at the Ministry of Love, bringing to its culmination the novel’s theme of physical control: control over the body ultimately grants the Party control over the mind. As with most of the Party’s techniques, there is an extremely ironic strain of doublethink running underneath: self-love and self-preservation, the underlying components of individualism and independence, lead one to fear pain and suffering, ultimately causing one to accept the principles of anti-individualist collectivism that allows the Party to thrive.

(Video) 1984 | George Orwell | Dystopian novel | Quotes & Reviews

FAQs

What is the most important quote in 1984? ›

Until they become conscious they will never rebel, and until after they have rebelled they cannot become conscious.

What are the 3 sayings in 1984? ›

The Ministry of Truth (had) three slogans: WAR IS PEACE, FREEDOM IS SLAVERY and IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH.

What is a meaningful quote from George Orwell? ›

In the face of pain there are no heroes.” “If you loved someone, you loved him, and when you had nothing else to give, you still gave him love.” “Power is in tearing human minds to pieces and putting them together again in new shapes of your own choosing.” “Perhaps a lunatic was simply a minority of one.”

What is the main message of 1984? ›

The primary theme of 1984 by George Orwell is to warn readers of the dangers of totalitarianism. The central focus of the book is to convey the extreme level of control and power possible under a truly totalitarian regime. It explores how such a governmental system would impact society and the people who live in it.

What are the four famous last words of the book 1984? ›

O cruel, needless misunderstanding! O stubborn, self-willed exile from the loving breast! Two gin-scented tears trickled down the sides of his nose. But it was all right, everything was all right, the struggle was finished.

What is the very first line of 1984? ›

George Orwell's well-known dystopian novel, Nineteen Eighty-four, opens with the following statement that should seem out of the ordinary: It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen. The thirteenth stroke here doesn't refer to military time but to an old saying.

What is the most important symbol in 1984? ›

The Telescreens

The omnipresent telescreens are the book's most visible symbol of the Party's constant monitoring of its subjects.

What is the most famous inspirational quote? ›

What is the most inspiring quote ever?
  • “Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall” – Confucius.
  • “Magic is believing in yourself. ...
  • “All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them” – Walt Disney.
  • “The real test is not whether you avoid this failure…
19 Aug 2021

What does the ending of 1984 symbolize? ›

In the final moment of the novel, Winston encounters an image of Big Brother and experiences a sense of victory because he now loves Big Brother. Winston's total acceptance of Party rule marks the completion of the trajectory he has been on since the opening of the novel.

What does Big Brother symbolize in 1984? ›

Big Brother represents the totalitarian government of Oceania, which is controlled by the Party and therefore synonymous with it. Winston learns in Goldstein's book that Big Brother is not a real person but an invention of the Party that functions as a focus for the people's feelings of reverence and fear.

What does 1984 teach us about human nature? ›

Human nature demands that families are loving and kind; that a couple can spend time together and that love should freely abound in a society. Yet, human nature is controlled and to love is to fear the torture and threats from the Party. Love is betrayal and human nature is to fight against this betrayal.

What is the most powerful quote? ›

21 of the World's Most Powerful Quotes Updated For Today
  • “You must be the change you wish to see in the world.” — Gandhi. ...
  • “Everybody is a genius. ...
  • “A life spent making mistakes is not only more honorable, but more useful than a life spent doing nothing.” — George Bernhard Shaw.
8 Jan 2018

What are some 3 word quotes? ›

110 Memorable Three-Word Quotes That Are Short And Sweet
  • “I'll be there.”
  • “I love you.”
  • “Maybe you're right.”
  • “I trust you.”
  • “Go for it.”
  • “Got your back.”
  • “How are you?”
  • “I want you.”
21 Mar 2022

What is the most iconic line ever? ›

Famous Movie Quotes
  • “ May the Force be with you.” - Star Wars, 1977.
  • “ There's no place like home.” - The Wizard of Oz, 1939.
  • “ I'm the king of the world!” - ...
  • “ Carpe diem. ...
  • “ Elementary, my dear Watson.” - ...
  • “ It's alive! ...
  • “ My mama always said life was like a box of chocolates. ...
  • “ I'll be back.” -
21 Sept 2018

What was Julia's room 101? ›

Room 101, located in the Ministry of Love, is the room where prisoners are sent to be confronted by their deepest fear. Readers learn early in the novel that Winston is terrified of rats.

Did Julia betray Winston? ›

The meeting with Julia resolves some unanswered questions: She did indeed betray Winston, in the same way that he betrayed her. She is becoming like the other women in the novel, sexless and undesirable, just as a woman of the Inner Party should be.

Did O'Brien betray Winston? ›

Finally, O'Brien tells Winston what he knew all along — that he will eventually be shot — but is ambiguous about when. Winston's horrors and fear are brought to light in these chapters: He is betrayed by Julia and O'Brien, he is tortured and ruined, and every hope he had for a future without the Party is destroyed.

Is there any irony in 1984? ›

There are many examples of irony in "1984." The Party's doublethink slogan "WAR IS PEACE. FREEDOM IS SLAVERY. IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH." shows a great deal of irony. The government's four ministries that do the opposite actions of their names are ironic.

What does Winston's ulcer represent? ›

Winston's varicose ulcer is an expression of his consistently repressed humanity. repressed emotions, actions, sexuality, and other things are implicated. Oceania governs the mind by controlling the body. His varicose ulcer is not only used as symbolism but as imagery as well.

What is 1984 a parody of? ›

(The book's analogue is “The Revolution Betrayed,” Leon Trotsky's attack on Stalinism, published in 1937, but it is also a parody of “The Managerial Revolution.”)

Why do they drink gin in 1984? ›

It is to make the world “look more cheerful” that Winston gulps it down “like a dose of medicine”, and only after the “shock” of swallowing it can he squeeze himself into his alcove and begin his diary (7); gin clears out Winston's stomach (53), and is the ultima ratio against that prescient “dull ache” in his belly ( ...

What does Julia symbolize in 1984? ›

Julia is Winston Smith's love-interest and his ally in the struggle against Big Brother. She represents the elements of humanity that Winston does not: pure sexuality, cunning, and survival.

What does gin symbolize in 1984? ›

Here, the victory gin is a form of emotion suppression. By suppressing unhappy feelings and making the world more cheerful, the victory gin allows the party to prevent rebellion and control an individual's desire to act out against the party.

What is ironic about the 4 ministries in 1984? ›

The Party slogan is a string of irony claiming that opposites--like war and peace, or freedom and slavery--are equal to one another. It names its Ministries, the centers of its power, ironically as well. The Ministry of Truth is concerned with lies, the Ministry of Love with torture, and the Ministry of Peace with war.

What does doublethink symbolize in 1984? ›

As used in 1984, the concept of doublethink is the ability to hold two completely contradictory thoughts simultaneously while believing both of them to be true. It also refers to deliberately choosing to forget memories and losing the ability to form independent thoughts.

What does the glass paperweight symbolize? ›

Lesson Summary

In George Orwell's novel 1984, the glass paperweight is a symbol for the protagonist's attempts to discover and connect to the past. The government of Oceania rewrites history completely, so there are very few citizens who can remember the true events of the past.

What is a short famous quote? ›

There are only two tragedies in life: one is not getting what one wants, and the other is getting it.” “The truth is rarely pure and never simple.” “There is no sin except stupidity.” “There is only one thing in life worse than being talked about, and that is not being talked about.”

What are five positive quotes? ›

100 Inspirational Quotes
  • "When you have a dream, you've got to grab it and never let go." ...
  • "Nothing is impossible. ...
  • "There is nothing impossible to they who will try." ...
  • "The bad news is time flies. ...
  • "Life has got all those twists and turns. ...
  • "Keep your face always toward the sunshine, and shadows will fall behind you."
13 Oct 2022

What is the famous quote in life? ›

"Life isn't a matter of milestones, but of moments." "Don't judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant." "In three words I can sum up everything I've learned about life: it goes on." "If my life is going to mean anything, I have to live it myself."

What are the darkest quotes? ›

It is during our darkest moments that we must focus to see the light. The darkest places in hell are reserved for those who maintain their neutrality in times of moral crisis. I find hope in the darkest of days, and focus in the brightest.

What are the 4 types of quotes? ›

Types of quotes
  • In-text quotes. An in-text quote is a short quote that fits into and completes a sentence you've written. ...
  • Indirect quotes. An indirect quote is when you paraphrase ideas from a source. ...
  • Direct quotes. A direct quote is when you take text directly from a source without changing anything.

› articles › communication › 30-... ›

Motivational or inspirational quotations connect to your subconscious mind, which is the most important part of your mind. There is a hidden reservoir of creati...
No matter what you're feeling or experiencing, these short inspirational quotes can help empower you to get where you want to go.
Listen to quotes from the greats with proven success track records.

What is Winston Churchill's most famous quote? ›

Many of his most famous quotes are from the war years and a recurring theme of his speeches was the need for perseverance. A lot of these can be applied equally well to our everyday life: “Never, never, never give up.”

What is the very first line of 1984? ›

George Orwell's well-known dystopian novel, Nineteen Eighty-four, opens with the following statement that should seem out of the ordinary: It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen. The thirteenth stroke here doesn't refer to military time but to an old saying.

What was Woodrow Wilson most famous quote? ›

The history of liberty is a history of resistance.”

Liberty has always come from the subjects of the government. The history of liberty is a history of resistance.

What are two famous quotes from Winston Churchill? ›

Attitude is a little thing that makes a BIG difference.” “Success is not final, failure is not fatal, it is the courage to continue that counts.” “If you're going through hell, keep going.”

What is the most powerful quote? ›

21 of the World's Most Powerful Quotes Updated For Today
  • “You must be the change you wish to see in the world.” — Gandhi. ...
  • “Everybody is a genius. ...
  • “A life spent making mistakes is not only more honorable, but more useful than a life spent doing nothing.” — George Bernhard Shaw.
8 Jan 2018

What is the most famous inspirational quote? ›

What is the most inspiring quote ever?
  • “Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall” – Confucius.
  • “Magic is believing in yourself. ...
  • “All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them” – Walt Disney.
  • “The real test is not whether you avoid this failure…
19 Aug 2021

What is Winston Churchill's quote about never giving up? ›

But for everyone, surely, what we have gone through in this period — I am addressing myself to the School — surely from this period of ten months this is the lesson: never give in, never give in, never, never, never, never-in nothing, great or small, large or petty — never give in except to convictions of honour and ...

What is the last line in 1984? ›

Molly Schoemann-McCann: For an adolescent who was used to reading books with happy endings, the last line of George Orwell's 1984,“He loved Big Brother,” was a dark, brilliant, eye-opening kick in the teeth.

What is the irony in 1984? ›

The ultimate irony is that Winston, a symbol of rebellion and protest, is ultimately bested by the system he hates and fights against, and at last is made to see the world in the topsy-turvy way the novel describes; this becomes clear when he admits that he loves Big Brother. Oceania's society is entrenched in irony.

Is there any irony in 1984? ›

There are many examples of irony in "1984." The Party's doublethink slogan "WAR IS PEACE. FREEDOM IS SLAVERY. IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH." shows a great deal of irony. The government's four ministries that do the opposite actions of their names are ironic.

Which of the 14 points was most important to Wilson? ›

Most importantly, however, was Point 14, which called for a “general association of nations” that would offer “mutual guarantees of political independence and territorial integrity to great and small nations alike.” When Wilson left for Paris in December 1918, he was determined that the Fourteen Points, and his League ...

What was Abraham Lincoln best quote? ›

Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power.” “Tact: the ability to describe others as they see themselves.” “Be with a leader when he is right, stay with him when he is still right, but leave him when he is wrong.”

What did Wilson say in his 14 points? ›

In the speech, Wilson directly addressed what he perceived as the causes for the world war by calling for the abolition of secret treaties, a reduction in armaments, an adjustment in colonial claims in the interests of both native peoples and colonists, and freedom of the seas.

What is a short famous quote? ›

There are only two tragedies in life: one is not getting what one wants, and the other is getting it.” “The truth is rarely pure and never simple.” “There is no sin except stupidity.” “There is only one thing in life worse than being talked about, and that is not being talked about.”

What is a famous quote? ›

"Life has no limitations, except the ones you make." "Football is like life, it requires perseverance, self-denial, hard work sacrifice, dedication and respect for authority." "As you know, life is an echo; we get what we give." "Life is what happens while you are making other plans."

What are 2 inspirational quotes? ›

You can do it quotes
  • “Do the best you can. ...
  • “Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.” ―Theodore Roosevelt.
  • 'It's never too late to be what you might've been.” ―George Eliot.
  • “If you can dream it, you can do it.” ―Walt Disney.
  • “Trust yourself that you can do it and get it.” ―Baz Luhrmann.
24 May 2022

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