Politics And The English Language Essay

Politics And The English Language Essay

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“Political languages --- and with variations this is true of all political parties, from Conservatives to Anarchists --- is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind.” (Orwell, Politics and the English Language, 167) George Orwell believed that the decline of a language must have political, economic and moral causes, and such deterioration will ultimately lead to the further corruption of thoughts. The spread and invasion of the abused languages, especially when prompted by political manipulation, can result in political conformity destructive to the people, the country and the truth.
In Orwell’s essay Politics and the English Language, he pointed out how he found the political trends in his time made the usage of pretentious, obscure and insincere language popular and how such trends facilitated the concealment of truth. For example, as Orwell exemplified sarcastically in this essay, when “people are imprisoned for years without trial, or shot in the back of the neck or sent to die of scurvy in Arctic lumber camps,” this is called “elimination of unreliable elements” by political writers. (Orwell, Politics and the English Language, 167) The comparison is striking. The first one is very descriptive, which evokes a vivid imagery of cruelty and totalitarianism, while the latter one hardly carries out any information. “The concrete melts into the abstract.” (Orwell, Politics and the English Language,159) The purpose of political writing is to create sheer vagueness that no one can grasp the details necessary for the understanding of the situation. Without such understanding of the truth, one cannot make any judgement toward the political conducts, and the governme...

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... maneuver is clear and unveiled to all the readers. This is the type of political writing Orwell desired to see: only when political language becomes self-explanatory, truth cannot be covered and people can be freed--- freed from ignorance and control.
However, this situation has not changed much since Orwell’s time, and in some cases, even worsened. Politicians bombarded people with confusing tirades, using ambiguous excuses in meetings to circumvent and justify certain accusations, for example, the true purpose of warfares going on in Iran and Syria, or the world--wide notorious surveillance program exposed by Edward Snowden. The responsible governments are able to get away with all these because majority of people are used to hear their non-sense and accept it. If language further collapses under political maneuver, the world of 1984 might ultimately comes true.

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