Secrets in the Text Essay
The argument that language has, and continues to be, degraded as the sands of time continue is not an uncommon one. George Orwell took an especially strong stance against banal writing and "purple prose writers" throughout the course of his literary career. He argues quite clearly in his "Politics and the English Language" that saving the English language is not a lost or unnecessary cause. In it he explains “the fight against bad English is not frivolous and is not the exclusive concern of professional writers” (157). He sees the ability of modern writers becoming simultaneously less powerful and more ambiguous. He believes English to be "full of bad habits… which can be avoided if one takes the necessary trouble" (157). But it is not the sole duty of literary scholars and professional writers to curb their bad habits; it is the collective necessity of the common man as well. His reason being that "If one gets rid of these bad habits one can think more clearly, and to think more clearly is the necessary first step towards political regeneration" (157). Orwell holds authoritative governments in a particular contempt. He believes a free exchange of opinions to be a means of opposing these regimes, which is why his discourse often concerns both language and politics.
Furthering this idea, it is clear that Orwell displays not only an opposition to totalitarian regimes, but also seeks to furtively convince his readers of the ills they present and possible solutions. He has a genuine interest and passion for that which he writes about. He does not simply want to impose his own opinions; he wants to impart his knowledge as a means to help the common man. This is evidenced in his style of writing as well as the themes he harps upon. In "Why I Write” he lays out the ways that authors without political purpose write as "betrayed into purple passage, sentences without meaning, decorative adjectives, and humbug generally" (316)....
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