Down and Out in Paris and London

by

George Orwell

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Down and Out in Paris and London Quotes

Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Mariner Books edition of Down and Out in Paris and London published in 1972.
Chapter 1 Quotes

Poverty forces them from ordinary standards of behavior, just as money frees people from work.

Related Characters: George Orwell (speaker)
Page Number: 7
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Chapter 2 Quotes

Ah, the poverty, the shortness, the disappointment of human joy!

Related Characters: Charlie (speaker), Young prostitute
Related Symbols: The Color Red
Page Number: 15
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Chapter 3  Quotes

You have thought so much about poverty—it is the thing you have feared all your life, the thing you knew would happen to you sooner or later; and it is all

so utterly and prosaically different. You thought it would be quite simple; it is extraordinarily complicated. You thought it would be terrible; it is merely squalid and boring. It is the peculiar lowness of poverty that you discover first; the shifts that it puts you to the complicated meanness, the crust-wiping.

Related Characters: George Orwell (speaker), A Young Italian Compositor
Page Number: 16
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You discover boredom and mean complications and the beginnings of hunger, but you also discover the great redeeming feature of poverty: the fact that it annihilates the future.

Related Characters: George Orwell (speaker)
Page Number: 20
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Chapter 5 Quotes

Never worry, mon ami. Nothing is easier to get than money.

Related Characters: Boris (speaker), George Orwell
Page Number: 29
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Chapter 9 Quotes

Appearance—appearance is everything, mon ami. Give me a new suit and I will borrow a thousand francs by dinner-time.

Related Characters: Boris (speaker), George Orwell, The Patron
Related Symbols: Clothing
Page Number: 51
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It is fatal to look hungry. It makes people want to kick you.

Related Characters: Boris (speaker), George Orwell, The Patron
Page Number: 51
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Chapter 14 Quotes

To a certain extent he is even dirty because he is an artist, for food, to look smart, needs dirty treatment.

Related Characters: George Orwell (speaker)
Page Number: 80
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Everywhere in the service quarters dirt festered—a secret vein of dirt running through the great, garish hotel like intestines through a man’s body.

Related Characters: George Orwell (speaker)
Page Number: 81
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Chapter 16 Quotes

There was—it is hard to express it—a sort of heavy contentment, the contentment a well-fed beast might feel, in a life which was so simple.

Related Characters: George Orwell (speaker)
Page Number: 91
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Chapter 17 Quotes

Most of my Saturday nights went in this way. On the whole, the two hours when one was perfectly and wildly happy seemed worth the subsequent headache. For many men in the quarter, unmarried and with no future to think of, the weekly drinking-bout was the one thing that made life worth living.

Related Characters: George Orwell (speaker)
Page Number: 96
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Chapter 22 Quotes

If plongeurs thought at all, they would long ago have formed a union and gone on strike for better treatment. But they do not think, because they have no leisure for it; their life has made slaves of them.

Related Characters: George Orwell (speaker)
Page Number: 116
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People have a way of taking it for granted that all work is done for a sound purpose. They see somebody else doing a disagreeable job, and think that they have solved things by saying that the job is necessary.

Related Characters: George Orwell (speaker)
Page Number: 116
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Foreseeing some dismal Marxian Utopia as the alternative, the educated man prefers to keep things as they are. Possibly he does not like his fellow-rich very much, but he supposes that even the vulgarest of them are less inimical to his pleasures, more his kind of people, than the poor, and that he had better stand by them. It is this fear of a supposedly dangerous mob that makes nearly all intelligent people conservative in their opinion.

Related Characters: George Orwell (speaker)
Page Number: 120
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The mass of the rich and the poor are differentiated by their incomes and nothing else, and the average millionaire is only the average dishwasher dressed in a new suit.

Related Characters: George Orwell (speaker)
Related Symbols: Clothing
Page Number: 120
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Chapter 24 Quotes

Dirt is a great respecter of persons; it lets you alone when you are well dressed, but as soon as your collar is gone, it flies towards you from all directions.

Related Characters: George Orwell (speaker)
Related Symbols: Clothing
Page Number: 129
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Chapter 29 Quotes

The fact is that the Salvation Army are so in the habit of thinking themselves a charitable body, that they cannot even run a lodging house without it stinking of charity.

Related Characters: George Orwell (speaker), Paddy Jacques
Page Number: 158
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Chapter 30 Quotes

Another thing to remember is to keep your money covered up, except perhaps a penny in the hat. People won’t give you anything if they see you got a bob or two already.

Related Characters: Bozo (speaker), George Orwell, Paddy Jacques
Page Number: 163
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The stars are a free show; it don’t cost anything to use your eyes.

Related Characters: Bozo (speaker), George Orwell, Paddy Jacques
Page Number: 164
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Chapter 31 Quotes

In practice nobody cares whether work is useful or useless, productive or parasitic; the sole thing demanded is that it shall be profitable. In all the modern talk about energy, efficiency, social service and the rest of it, what meaning is there except ‘Get money, get it legally, and get a lot of it’? Money has become the grand test of virtue…A beggar, looked at realistically, is simply a business man, getting his living, like other businessmen, in the way that comes to hand. He has not, more than most modern people, sold his honour; he has merely made the mistake of choosing a trade at which it is impossible to grow rich.

Related Characters: George Orwell (speaker)
Page Number: 174
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Chapter 33 Quotes

An educated man can put up with enforced idleness, which is one of the worst evils of poverty. But a man like Paddy, with no means of filling up time, is as miserable out of work as a dog on the chain. That is why it is such nonsense to pretend that those who have ‘come down in the world’ are to be pitied above all others. The man who really merits pity is the man who has been down from the start, and faces poverty with a blank, resourceless mind.

Related Characters: George Orwell (speaker), Paddy Jacques
Page Number: 180
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It is curious how people take it for granted that they have a right to preach at you and pray over you as soon as your income falls below a certain level.

Related Characters: George Orwell (speaker), Paddy Jacques
Page Number: 181
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A man receiving charity practically always hates his benefactor—it is a fixed characteristic of human nature; and, when he has fifty or a hundred others to back him, he will show it.

Related Characters: George Orwell (speaker), Paddy Jacques
Page Number: 184
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Chapter 38 Quotes

Still I can point to one or two things I have definitely learned by being hard up. I shall never again think that all tramps are drunken scoundrels, nor expect a beggar to be grateful when I give him a penny, nor be surprised if men out of work lack energy, nor subscribe to the Salvation Army, nor pawn my clothes, nor refuse a handbill, nor enjoy a meal at a smart restaurant. That is a beginning.

Related Characters: George Orwell (speaker)
Page Number: 213
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