George Orwell’s Politics and the English Language: A Review

Topics: Metaphor, English language, Politics and the English Language Pages: 2 (553 words) Published: October 14, 2014
Vanessa Amaya
Orwell, George. Politics and the English Language. London: Horizon, 1946. In George Orwell’s Politics and the English Language, he is expressing his opinion on the digression of the English Language. Orwell is speaking in a negative manner, because this essay classifies the bad writing habits in modern English as opposed to the traditional style. Orwell also discusses the irrelevance of foreign phrases. Throughout his argumentative essay he supports his claims to convince the reader he is correct. :This quote from George Orwell’s “Politics and the English Language,” is what the entire essay is centered upon. Orwell states that what is wrong with modern English is that it is hampered by “vagueness and incompetence.” Writers who are guilty are like machines, mechanically spewing out empty phrases that have been hardwired into their writing processes, however really meaning nothing at all to the readers. Later Orwell supports his point by listing and describing the exact reasons for this vagueness and incompetence; dying metaphors, verbal false limbs, pretentious diction, and meaningless words. Like any good argument, Orwell includes a paragraph with a counterargument and discredits this viewpoint with specific examples of metaphors that have been consciously wiped out by people willing to put forth an effort. In concluding his essay, Orwell lays out his solution, part of which is a set of rules all writers should follow, his solution is simple, “a deep change of attitude in anyone who has grown used to writing in the style now fashionable.” Orwell creates an argumentative essay that follows the typical structure; his point, supporting details, opposing viewpoints, and a solution; all in order to inform people of the reasons for this ugliness of the English language while calling on the reader to make an effort at changing these attitudes toward writing. Orwell keeps a very mild tone throughout this essay, never stepping into sarcasm however not...
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