Politics and the English Language is an essay written by George Orwell in 1946 in which he examines how political language is abused in an effort to manipulate public opinion He argues that political language has come to be used to “make lies sound truthful and murder respectable” and to confuse meaningful political discourse. Orwell goes on to analyze the linguistic deterioration taking place in the English language and how it affects the ability to think clearly and reason logically. He pinpoints the decline in good English use to the manipulation of language by politicians and their cronies.
Five topics that can be used to discuss Politics and the English Language:
1. The Power of Language: In George Orwell’s essay he places great emphasis on the power of language, how it can be used to manipulate and how it shapes an individual’s understanding of the world.
2. Political Influence on Language: The essay examines how language has been abused for political gain and how this has led to a decline in the use of good English.
3. The Degradation of English: Orwell discusses how the “impoverishment” of English language is taking place due to its manipulation by politicians, and the implications this has upon an individual’s ability to think logically and clearly.
4. Misleading Political Language: The essay takes an in-depth look at the use of manipulative language by politicians and it’s effects on the public’s perception of political issues.
5. The Problem of Newspeak: The essay considers the power of “Newspeak” and how it is used to alter one’s perception of language and reality.