George Orwell's Essay 'Politics And The English Language'

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“Politics and the English Language” Analysis In his essay, “Politics and the English Language,” George Orwell states his critical opinions on the deviation of English, especially when it is deceitfully used in politics. Orwell believes that English is deteriorating alongside our “decadent” human civilization. He is quick to point out that one can’t simply blame it upon an individual writer who spread terrible prose, but in fact this occurrence has certain political and economic causes that have made incorrect uses of English a cyclical process. Through a deliberate use of various rhetorical devices, George Orwell presents a quite compelling argument on the path that the English language has embarked upon. Orwell maintains a very stern tone …show more content…
This occasion prompted him to transfer his views on paper so all generations will have access to this knowledge. The audience was clearly everybody; Orwell wanted everyone to make a collective effort towards reversing the mental vices that have caused them to “suffer.” Just as the deterioration of English cannot be blamed on a single individual, likewise, a single individual cannot improve the current situation. Everyone must be made cognizant of the fact that they speak and write incorrectly very often every day. Furthermore, Orwell gives advice on how to improve our language use by first pointing out common mistakes and then his theories on how to improve them. For instance, Orwell says that all too often, we include unnecessary metaphors, sometimes those that do not even make sense. “The hammer and the anvil” is a metaphor used commonly, according to Orwell, but incorrectly. He says: “In real life, it is always the anvil that breaks the hammer.” People assume the opposite to be true and thus imply the metaphor in that sense. However, Orwell says those do know the correct meaning wouldn’t butcher the metaphor by including it in their writing in the wrong context. When you use stale metaphors like these, according to Orwell, you leave your meaning vague, for both you and the reader. That destroys the flow of the writing and prevents you from reaching your potential through the English

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