a boot stamping on a human face

gil12345

Senior Member
chinese
Hi there,

"“If you want a picture of the future,” Orwell darkly warned in his classic, “imagine a boot stamping on a human face—forever.” This authoritarian vision discounts the possibility that governments might use such tools to make the streets safer."

They Are Watching You—and Everything Else on the Planet

I know the literal meaning of the underlined phrase: the tread printed on a human face. But what does it implies? Is it a disgrace? or if you are stamped with a tread on your face, you will be forever recognized, or monitored? If so, why is a boot, not other characteristic signs, like a letter, to signify that?

Thanks

Gil
 
  • Barque

    Senior Member
    Tamil
    I hadn't thought of a military boot specifically. I just took it as a symbol of an authority figure suppressing the common man. But it's possible Orwell was thinking of a soldier's or a policeman's boot.
     

    velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    the tread printed on a human face
    No, it isn't talking about a mark imprinted on someone's face.

    "Stamp" here means "put one's foot down with great force". The mental picture is of a man wearing boots (probably a soldier) treading forcefully on your face as you lie helpless on the ground.
     

    velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    The point to note is that it's dictionary definition #1, not #5. It is to be understood that the boot contains the foot of some person of authority - this isn't about making a mark with a stamp.:cool:
     
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