Rhetoric and Politics in Orwell's "Politics and the English Language"
In his essay "Politics and the English Language," George Orwell uncovered the way language contributes to the reinforcement of certain political ideas. According to Orwell, sloppy language contributes to poor thinking, which in turn further degrades language and allows language to be deployed in the service of violence and repression. Considering this process underlines how language ideologically circumscribes the possible beliefs of any given group by encouraging and discouraging certain modes of thought.
The relationship between thinking and language is reciprocal, such that language "becomes ugly and inaccurate because our thoughts are foolish, but the slovenliness of our language makes it easier for us to have foolish thoughts" (Orwell, 1946, para. 2). Reversing this vicious cycle of linguistic and mental degradation is necessary, because Orwell argued that "most people who bother with the matter at all would...
2). The first problem is what he called "dying metaphors," which are "a huge dump of worn-out metaphors which have lost all evocative power and are merely used because they save people the trouble of inventing phrases for themselves" (Orwell, 1946, para. 5). These degrade the English language because they warp the meaning of metaphors, such that "some metaphors now current have been twisted out of their original meaning without those who use them even being aware of the fact." For example, the metaphor of "the hammer and the anvil" is "now always used with the implication that the anvil gets the worst of it" even though "in real life it is always the anvil that breaks the hammer, never the other way about" (Orwell, 1946, para. 5).
The second habit permeating the English language is "operators, or verbal false limbs," which includes using the passive voice instead of the active, and nominalizations instead of gerunds (Orwell, 1946, para. 6). "Pretentious diction" is a more obvious problem, and includes those phrases…
" Why is this the case? Why are some concerned about privacy and others not at all? The answer lies in the fact that society is mirroring both authors' perspectives, Orwell's and Huxley's -- one fearful and the other apathetic. Society is thus a dichotomy of two anti-utopian visions. Yet, Zittrain, like Boyd and Baym, supports the new media technology by asserting that "the Net is quite literally what we make
Politics and English Language POLITICS AND THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE George Orwell in his essay 'Politics and the English Language' discusses the flaws and degeneration of English language. He believes that since the language is clearly losing its focus and direction, it is rapidly becoming unclear and vague giving rise to literary pieces that make little or no sense at all. Many people share Orwell's observation and feel that for some odd reason,
In Animal Farm, Orwell more directly satirizes real world events, as the overthrow of a farmer by his animals and the progression of the new order established there to a totalitarian dictatorship closely mirrors that of Russia's sudden transition to Communism and Stalin's iron-fisted rule. Whereas 1984 drops the reader immediately into the world of a government gone wrong, Animal Farm shows the emergence of such a government. Things begin
Note that inflated English has been more characteristic of the centuries preceding Orwell and of Orwell's own time than on the latter part of the 20th century. There has been a shift in linguistics. As linguists and historians of language have noted, the Western model of language follows the monological approach. The monological approach has roots reaching back to Aristotle who saw communication as one of rhetoric, namely persuasion,
45). With the ideology of the ownership class necessarily becoming the dominant ideology throughout the world not simply through the spread of industry and capitalism but through dramatic changes in international trade and economies brought about by capitalist/industrialist changes in single countries, the bourgeoisie acquires (or acquired) dramatic power to shape global events and politics through their shaping of the thoughts that can be had and the modes by
It makes sense, then, that H.G. Wells once "said he would 'rather be called a journalist than an artist'" (Wells qtd. In McConnell 176). If the dangers of the twentieth century would come from the way unrestricted scientific advancement coupled with self-interest results in new, terrifying methods of industrialized slaughter, then the particular mode or perspective of the artist, as an opposed to the journalist, would be insufficient or irrelevant.