Who said: "On the whole, human beings want to be good, but not too good and not quite all the time"

BookBrowse's Favorite Quotes

"On the whole, human beings want to be good, but not too good and not quite all the time" – George Orwell.

George OrwellGeorge Orwell was born Eric Arthur Blair on 25 June 1903 in India. Like many of the children of the British army and colonial civil service, he was educated at boarding school in England, in his case at Eton. His family could not affprd a university education for him, so he joined the Indian Imperial Police in Burma, then a British colony. He resigned in 1927 with the aim of becoming a writer and moved to Paris in 1928, publishing his first book, Down and Out in Paris and London, five years later which recorded his years working menial jobs to support himself as a writer. Shortly after this, he took the name George Orwell, publishing Burmese Days in 1934.

An anarchist in the late 1920s, by the mid 1930s he considered himself a socialist. In 1936 he was commissioned to write an account of poverty among unemployed miners in northern England, which was published as The Road to Wigan Pier (1937). In 1936 he traveled to Spain with the intent of fighting for the Republicans against Franco's Nationalists, but he fled in fear of his life in the face of Soviet-backed communists who were suppressing revolutionary socialist dissenters - this experience turned him into a lifelong anti-Stalinist.

Between 1941 and 1943, he worked in the BBC's propaganda department, before becoming literary editor of the Tribune, a weekly left-wing magazine.

1945 saw the publication of Animal Farm; Nineteen Eighty-Four was published four years later. Although the former is a political fable based on Stalin's betrayal of the Russian Revolution and the latter is set in an imaginary totalitarian future, Emma Larkin's Finding George Orwell in Burma notes that all three books resonate with the people of Burma who say that Orwell did not write just one book about their country, but three: Burmese Days, Animal Farm and Nineteen Eighty-Four.

He died of tuberculosis in January 1950 at the age of 47.

More Quotes

This quote & biography originally ran in an issue of BookBrowse's membership magazine. Full Membership Features & Benefits.

Support BookBrowse

Become a Member and discover books that entertain, engage & enlighten!

Join Today!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: New People
    New People
    by Danzy Senna
    Danzy Senna has spent virtually her entire writing career exploring the complicated intersections of...
  • Book Jacket: Hunger
    Hunger
    by Roxane Gay
    In this penetrating and fearless memoir, author Roxane Gay discusses her battle with body acceptance...
  • Book Jacket: The Black Witch
    The Black Witch
    by Laurie Forest
    In The Black Witch, Laurie Forest introduces her readers to an immersive fantasy world where ...

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
Cruel Beautiful World by Caroline Leavitt

Cruel Beautiful World examines the intricate, infinitesimal distance between seduction and love, loyalty and duty.

About the book
Join the discussion!

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    Young Jane Young
    by Gabrielle Zevin

    From the author of The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry comes a novel that will have everyone talking.
    Reader Reviews

Win this book!
Win Hame

Hame by Annalena McAfee

A rich, sultry novel about a young American fleeing a crumbling marriage for a remote Scottish island.

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

A F Out O W

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.