“Politics and the Language” is one of the greatest works of George Orwell that is being written in 1946. So, it can be said a modern essay in George Orwell’s hand though the topic is very different from his other essays.
Throughout his essay, he criticized modern English society and ends the story with the phrase “ugly and accurate”.
So, the central theme that has been portrayed in the essay is the criticism of orthodox politics and false use of the English language. According to the author,
“is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable,
and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind”
The condition of the political situation becomes increased and the politicians are using it the truth is being hidden from people and more than expressing truth in language politics hides much with sweet language this is the theme that Orwell tries to speak out.
Politics and the English Language Summary
This is an allegorical essay that speaks of the politics that is fake and people are believing it by closing their eyes. The uses of language are being degenerated on the state of the country and its politics.
The author associates the writer’s bad prose with man’s nationalism for the country. The author speaks,
“instrument which we shape for our own purposes”
This is the view of Orwell on politics. This essay tells the exact truth of the country England and the language becomes a tool of telling lies to the other.
An instrument can be used it any way that the owner wants, language also the same thing that the politicians will use it their ways and they will make exact changes when they will need it. Then George Orwell takes 5 passages for giving examples of the language.
“illustrate various of the mental vices from which we now suffer.”
Harold Laski writes “5 negatives in 53 words” that speaks nothing except the uses of language, Paul Goodman also writes an essay of psychology that tells nothing relevant but it only has a master language that attracts the readers.
Authors who have written words or prose just move their hands in a pretentious way and say “modern prose” but Orwell does not know what is in it.
And that is why Orwell takes the word ‘orthodox’ because political speech and writings intend the same empty words. Orwell presented with a mild satire on the corrupting habits of writers.
Poorly written words are mixed with metaphors and abstract meanings. Orwell presents here an example that is when a person becomes useless he or she starts thinking about a fact by their own language and in the same way politicians also write words by following the guidelines.
Then the words become more powerful than the thoughts because it is already made no need to use language for expression.
A corrupted language always lets the people think in their original language but when politics take the grand role it does not happen.
Thus Orwell demonstrates the power of politics and how they present their thoughts to the common people. The political terms, abstract meanings, absurd figures indicate violence against the lives because in between lines they hide the reality and their own activity.
Thus the author observes the activity of the politicians whatever is being written and what to do there is no similarity. George Orwell says this is “terrible politics”.
And again he gets back to the previous opinion that language is just a tool to make a change.
Politics and the English Language Analysis
This essay is a satire because throughout the writing the author tells the truth of politics and also tells about fake kindness that politicians use to show.
Not only in this essay, but he also portrays the false introductions of the people of the British. But a keen satire is common in George Orwell’s novels and essays. The author asks questions to the readers these are,
“A scrupulous writer, in every sentence that he writes,
will ask himself at least four questions, thus: 1. What am I trying to say?
2. What words will express it?
3. What image or idiom will make it clearer?
4. Is this image fresh enough to have an effect?”
So, “Politics and the Language” get critical attention from the critics. Some of the critics appreciated the fact and some also criticized his views on politics.
Politics and the English Language Questions
What is Orwell’s purpose in politics and the English language?
Orwell in this essay tells a criticism towards the society that becomes a purpose.
What are language and power?
Language and power is the ability of a man that makes an expression.
What is dying metaphor according to Orwell?
The dying metaphor is that does not mean anything. Just used to make prose beautiful.
What is the definition of language?
A language is a tool that helps to express thoughts.
What is Orwell’s purpose in writing this essay?
Criticism of language and politics are the purpose of writing this essay.