The Power of Language 1984 Comparison Essay

Topics: Nineteen Eighty-Four, Totalitarianism, George Orwell Pages: 4 (1536 words) Published: January 13, 2013
The Power of Language

George Orwell, the writer of many highly regarded literary works, is extremely interested in the power of language, mainly how it is abused. By analyzing two of his works, 1984 and Politics and The English Language, it is clear that Orwell is using his writing to bring awareness to the dangers of the manipulation, misuse, and decline of language. In 1984 he demonstrates how language can be used to control thought and manipulate the past. This is proven throughout the novel by examining the language of Newspeak and how it is key to controlling the totalitarian state, and how using language to alter and manipulate history can shape reality. In his essay Politics and the English Language Orwell once again demonstrates the ubiquitous power of language by exemplifying how bad English is making a less intelligent population, and how when it is used in politics it can play a huge role in influencing the truth. In 1984 Orwell warns of the manipulation of language in a totalitarian state. He emphasises the importance of language in the superstate of Oceania; and how its government, known as the Party, is able to control the state because of their control over the language. The Party's main goal is to eliminate any opposition to their power, even if it just a thought of opposition. To achieve this goal the Party developed a new language called Newspeak, that will eventually replace modern English or Oldspeak. The opposition that the Party aims to eliminate is often carried out through the act of Thoughtcrime, which is one of the worst offenses a person can commit and is punishable by death. Since the party can’t read people's minds they analyze their facial expressions to tell if they are thinking anything against the norm. To solve the problem of thoughtcrime they developed the ultra-political language of Newspeak. Newspeak’s main goal is to restrict vocabulary to the point where thoughtcrime is impossible....
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