All The 1984 Telescreen Quotes About Technology and Surveillance

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Have you read '1984'?

The book centers around the consequences of mass surveillance and totalitarianism. George Orwell has created the telescreen in the novel as a symbol of the continual surveillance done by the Party and thought police.

Winston, the protagonist of the novel, seems bleak and hopeless in response to the telescreen. When he is facing the telescreen his expression is that of quiet optimism, as letting one’s thoughts wander in public places can be dangerous. However, Winston is fortunate as there is a small corner in his apartment that is hidden from the telescreen and thus from the thought police.

The book is filled with several great quotes which we hope you will enjoy. In this article, we have gathered the best '1984' Big Brother quotes, Winston quotes, and surveillance quotes from '1984'. If you find this list of '1984' quotes about telescreens, technology, and surveillance interesting, you can check out other articles from Kidadl like these ['Lord Of The Flies' quotes] and ['Fahrenheit 451' quotes].

'1984' Telescreens Quotes

Orwell wrote '1984' to warn people of the danger of a totalitarian society

Telescreen '1984' quotes are known to be the coolest lines from the novel that depicts the reality of a society being controlled by a totalitarian government. Telescreens in '1984' push propaganda while ignoring or denying what the people see and feel.  Check out these quotes in '1984' about telescreens.

1. “The voice came from an oblong metal plaque like a dulled mirror which formed part of the surface of the right-hand wall. The instrument (the telescreen, it was called) could be dimmed, but there was no way of shutting it off completely.”

- George Orwell, '1984'.

2. “A newsflash has at this moment arrived from the Malabar front. The forces of Oceania in South India have won a glorious victory! I am authorized to say that the war against Eurasia is within measurable distance of its end. Forty-thousand Eurasian soldiers have been killed or captured.”

- George Orwell, '1984'.

3. “The telescreen received and transmitted simultaneously. Any sound that Winston made, above the level of a very low whisper, would be picked up by it; moreover, so long as he remained within the field of vision which the metal plaque commanded, he could be seen as well as heard. There was, of course, no way of knowing whether you were being watched at any given moment.”

- George Orwell, '1984'.

4. “Day and night the telescreens bruised your ears with statistics proving that people today had more food, more clothes, better houses, better recreations—that they lived longer, worked shorter hours, were bigger, healthier, stronger, happier, more intelligent, better educated, than the people of fifty years ago.”

- George Orwell, '1984'.

5. “Winston was listening to the telescreen. At present only music was coming out of it, but there was a possibility that at any moment there might be a special bulletin from the Ministry of Peace.”

- George Orwell, '1984'.

6. “He thought of the telescreen with its never-sleeping ear. They could spy upon you night and day, but if you kept your head, you could still outwit them. With all their cleverness, they had never mastered the secret of finding out what another human being was thinking.”

- George Orwell, '1984'.

7. “In the far distance, a helicopter skimmed down between the roofs, hovered for an instant like a bluebottle, and darted away again with a curving flight. It was the police patrol, snooping into people's windows.”

- George Orwell, '1984'.

'1984' Technology Quotes

In the life of Winston and others, technology has played an important role in the '1984' novel by George Orwell. The '1984' thought police used technology for discovering unapproved personal and political thoughts and to punish thoughtcrime. You might learn something from these quotes about '1984' technology and how it was experienced by Winston.

8. “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.”

- George Orwell, '1984'.

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

- George Orwell, '1984'.

10. “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!”

- George Orwell, '1984'.

11. “They could lay bare in the utmost detail everything that you had done or said or thought; but the inner heart, whose workings were mysterious even to yourself, remained impregnable.”

- George Orwell, '1984'.

12. “Winston kept his back turned to the telescreen. It was safer, though, as he well knew, even a back can be revealing.”

- George Orwell, '1984'.

13. “In general, you could not assume that you were much safer in the country than in London. There were no telescreens, of course, but there was always the danger of concealed microphones by which your voice might be picked up and recognized; besides, it was not easy to make a journey by yourself without attracting attention.”

- George Orwell, '1984'.

14. “In Oceania at the present day, Science, in the old sense, has almost ceased to exist... The empirical method of thought, on which all the scientific achievements of the past were founded, is opposed to the most fundamental principles of Ingsoc. And even technological progress only happens when its products can in some way be used for the diminution of human liberty.”

- George Orwell, '1984'.

15. “The Party employs science and technology to curtail human freedom and privacy, and to control human behavior.”

- George Orwell, '1984'.

'1984' Surveillance Quotes

'1984', written by Orwell, is still referenced in pop culture today.

'1984' is known for its Big Brother character, who is the omnipresent eyes in the classic novel of George Orwell. Check out these '1984' quotes about surveillance and '1984' quotes about Big Brother that are a must-read.

16. “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.”

- George Orwell, '1984'.

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.”

- George Orwell, '1984'.

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

- George Orwell, '1984'.

19. “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.”

- George Orwell, '1984'.

20. “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.”

- George Orwell, '1984'.

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

- George Orwell, '1984'.

22. “Big Brother is watching you.”

- George Orwell, '1984'.

23. “In the Party histories, of course, Big Brother figured as the leader and guardian of the Revolution since its very earliest days. His exploits had been gradually pushed backwards in time until already they extended into the fabulous world of the forties and the thirties.”

- George Orwell, '1984'.

24. “At the apex of the pyramid comes Big Brother. Big Brother is infallible and all-powerful. Every success, every achievement, every victory, every scientific discovery, all knowledge, all wisdom, all happiness, all virtue, are held to issue directly from his leadership and inspiration.”

- George Orwell, '1984'.

25. “In any case, to wear an improper expression on your face (to look incredulous when a victory was announced, for example) was itself a punishable offense. There was even a word for it in Newspeak: facecrime, it was called.”

- George Orwell, '1984'.

26. “They could do nothing except stand gazing into one another's eyes [...] unthinkable to disobey the iron voice from the wall. There was a snap as though a catch had been turned back, and a crash of breaking glass. The picture had fallen to the floor uncovering the telescreen behind it.”

- George Orwell, '1984'.

27. “The poster with the enormous face gazed from the wall. It was one of those pictures which are so contrived that the eyes follow you about when you move.”

- George Orwell, '1984'.

28. “It seemed to him that he knew exactly what it felt like to sit in a room like this, in an armchair beside an open fire with your feet in the fender and a kettle on the hob: utterly alone, utterly secure, with nobody watching you, no voice pursuing you, no sound except the singing of the kettle and the friendly ticking of the clock.”

- George Orwell, '1984'.

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

- George Orwell, '1984'.

30. “To run for life, to get out of the house before it was too late – no such thought occurred to them.”

- George Orwell, '1984'.

Here at Kidadl, we create lots of family-friendly quotes for everyone to read and enjoy. If you enjoyed our article about the best '1984' book quotes about telescreens, surveillance and technology then why not take a look at something different like these [quotes from 'Pride And Prejudice'] and these quotes from 'The Book Thief' for more?

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