Comparing and Contrasting the Use of Language in 1984 and Brave New World

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Comparing and Contrasting the Use of Language in 1984 and Brave New World

In a dystopian society citizens are stripped of their rights and the land is stricken with chaos. Often times the citizens are ignorant; either they cannot recognize the problem or they cannot express their dislike towards it. The right to freedom of speech is crucial in creating a well-rounded society because it gives the people the chance to form opinions. In comparing the novels, 1984 and Brave New World, the reader can see that both of the corrupt governments use language as a technique to enforce their ways upon the people. In 1984 language has been manipulated to remove the possibility of rebellious thoughts. The corrupt government creates Newspeak and makes it the official language of Oceania. It is designed to make the ideological premise of Ingsoc the only expressible doctrine. Although it is very similar to English, the the vocabulary and grammar have been greatly reduced and simplified. In the novel, the totalitarian aim of the Party is to prevent any alternative thinking, referred to as "thoughtcrime". By destroying any vocabulary that expresses concepts like freedom, individualism, resistance to the authority of the state and the like, The Party is successfully able to monitor the thoughts of their people. In this language, words with negative meanings are removed as redundant, so "bad" becomes "ungood". Words with comparative and superlative meanings are also simplified, so "better" becomes "gooder", and "best" becomes "goodest". Intensifiers can be added, so "great" becomes "plusgood", and "excellent" and "splendid" become "doubleplusgood". The goal of exchanging English, or “Oldspeak”, for “Newspeak” is to reinforce the total dominance of the state. Syme, a coworker of Winston, says, “It’s a beautiful thing, the destruction of words” (Orwell 51). The people do not understand how serious the destruction of words is. He says it is “beautiful” yet it is devastating. If...
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