1984 Important Quotes with Page Numbers
"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."
Not only does this line introduce how intrusive Big Brother is on a Party member's life, but it alludes to "the place where there is no darkness".
Page 4 (first appearance):
"WAR IS PEACE / FREEDOM IS SLAVERY / IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH."
This is the slogan of the Party and appears throughout the novel. It is also an example of "doublethink", the act of believing contradicting ideas simultaneously.
"He was the commander of a vast shadowy army, un underground network of conspirators dedicated to the overthrow of the State."
This line refers to Goldstein, who is a scapegoat for the Thought Police. The use of a scapegoat is a common practice of fascist regimes.
"He was a fattish but active man of paralyzing stupidity, a mass of imbecile enthusiasm—one of those completely unquestioning, devoted drudges on whom, more even than on the Thought Police, the stability of the Party depended."
This passage is a description of Tom Parsons, a man who is proud of his spying children, children who eventually betray him.
"It was almost normal for people over thirty to be frightened of their own children."
This passage relates to how the Party indoctrinates children and the effect that indoctrination has on the general populace.
" 'We shall meet in the place where there is no darkness.' "
Winston dreams of O'Brien saying these words to him. Winston later realizes the reference is to the Ministry of Love, where the lights are always on and where Winston is taken to be tortured.
"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."
This passage refers to the process of changing the past, which is Winston's job. By controlling the past, the Party is able to manipulate the minds of Party members.
"More commonly, people who had incurred the displeasure of the Party simply disappeared and were never heard of again."
This sentence describes what happens to people who offend the Party. It foreshadows what will happen to Winston, after the novel, and is the process O'Brien threatens him with.
"Comrade Ogilvy, who had never existed in the present, now existed in the past, and when once the act of forgery was forgotten, he would exist just as authentically, and upon the same evidence, as Charlemagne or Julius Caesar."
Winston has this thought while creating the fictitious Comrade Ogilvy. This is an example of how easily reality can be manufactured in the world of the novel, a written example of "doublethink".
" 'Orthodoxy means not thinking—not needing to think. Orthodoxy is unconsciousness.' "
Syme speaking to Winston. This passage not only demonstrates how the Party is able to manipulate vast numbers of people, but makes a statement about the nature of orthodoxy in general.
"Sexual intercourse was to be looked on as a slightly disgusting minor operation, like having an enema."
This is a thought Winston has while remembering his wife. This passage is an example of how the Party represses natural, human aspects in order to control its populace.
"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."
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.
"Almost as swiftly as he had imagined it, she had torn her clothes off, and when she flung them aside it was with that same magnificent gesture by which a whole civilization seemed to be annihilated."
These lines describe Julia undressing and are important because they concern the motif of Winston's dreams literally coming true, and highlight the manner in which Julia chooses to rebel. Also, gestures in general, because they are tied to Shakespeare in the story, are an expression of the human spirit.
"No emotion was pure, because everything was mixed up with fear and hatred. Their embrace had been a battle, the climax a victory. It was a blow struck against the Party. It was a political act."
This passage highlights how sex in the world of the novel is an act of rebellion against the Party.
"The room was a world, a pocket of the past where extinct animals could walk."
This passage refers to the room Winston rents with Julia, and directly links the room with the past. It's interesting that the room is rented to Winston by the Thought Police, which suggests that Big Brother really does control the past.
"By sharing a small act of thoughtcrime he turned the two of them into accomplices."
This sentence describes O'Brien's first contact with Winston. This is the means by which O'Brien lures Winston into a trap set by the Thought Police.
"On a scarlet-draped platform an orator of the Inner Party, a small lean man with disproportionately long arms and a large, bald skull over which a few lank lock straggled, was haranguing the crowd."
While this passage and the ones that closely follow are less important to the themes of the book, they are highly reminiscent of Adolf Hitler, and so are noteworthy.
" 'I've got a wife and three children. The biggest of them isn't six years old. You can take the whole lot of them and cut their throats in front of my eyes, and I'll stand by and watch it. But not Room 101!' "
These words are spoken by Winston's fellow prisoner and serve to build suspense around Room 101, which Winston will eventually be taken to.
" 'If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face—forever.' "
These chilling words are spoken by O'Brien to Winston during Winston's conversion in the Ministry of Love and demonstrate the ruthless plan for domination being carried out by the Party.