Orwell Politics And The English Language Thesis

I will come back to this presently, and I hope that by that time the meaning of what I have said here will have become clearer.

Meanwhile, here are five specimens of the English language as it is now habitually written.

Other words used in variable meanings, in most cases more or less dishonestly, are: class, totalitarian, science, progressive, reactionary, bourgeois, equality.” Orwell continues: “In our time, political speech and writing are largely the defense of the indefensible....

Thus political language has to consist largely of euphemism, question-begging and sheer cloudy vagueness.” In our time, too.

His thesis is that any effect can become a cause, such that something that starts as an aid for a different ailment may eventually become detrimental.2: Orwell's analogy of the cause and effect of alcohol abuse to the demise of lanuage in paragraph two is very effective.

It shows a chain reaction, where the person starts drinking alcohol to combat a problem in their live, but then the alcohol eventually leads to more difficult problems.3: In Paragraph 4, Orwell uses a simile to compare "phrases tacked together" to "sections of a prefabricated henhouse".

Its desires, such as they are, are transparent, for they are just what institutional approval keeps in the forefront of consciousness; another institutional pattern would alter their number and intensity; there is little in them that is natural, irreducible, or culturally dangerous. Where is there a place in this hall of mirrors for either personality or fraternity? All the ‘best people’ from the gentlemen's clubs, and all the frantic fascist captains, united in common hatred of Socialism and bestial horror at the rising tide of the mass revolutionary movement, have turned to acts of provocation, to foul incendiarism, to medieval legends of poisoned wells, to legalize their own destruction of proletarian organizations, and rouse the agitated petty-bourgeoise to chauvinistic fervor on behalf of the fight against the revolutionary way out of the crisis. If a new spirit is to be infused into this old country, there is one thorny and contentious reform which must be tackled, and that is the humanization and galvanization of the B. The heart of Britain may be sound and of strong beat, for instance, but the British lion's roar at present is like that of Bottom in Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream — as gentle as any sucking dove.

But on the other side, the social bond itself is nothing but the mutual reflection of these self-secure integrities. A virile new Britain cannot continue indefinitely to be traduced in the eyes or rather ears, of the world by the effete languors of Langham Place, brazenly masquerading as ‘standard English’.

Most people who bother with the matter at all would admit that the English language is in a bad way, but it is generally assumed that we cannot by conscious action do anything about it.

Our civilization is decadent and our language — so the argument runs — must inevitably share in the general collapse.

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