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Politics & The English Language-By George Orwell Essay

1: Orwell’s thesis is somewhat stated, but also implied. His thesis is that any effect can become a cause, such that something that starts as an aid for a different ailment may eventually become detrimental.

2: Orwell’s analogy of the cause and effect of alcohol abuse to the demise of lanuage in paragraph two is very effective. It shows a chain reaction, where the person starts drinking alcohol to combat a problem in their live, but then the alcohol eventually leads to more difficult problems.

3: In Paragraph 4, Orwell uses a simile to compare “phrases tacked together” to “sections of a prefabricated henhouse”. That shows how prose consists of words that aren’t necessarily chosen for their meaning, but instead just because it’s easy.

In Paragraph 12, Orwell uses a similie to compare someone “choking” to “tea leaves blocking a sink”, which shows how the author knows what he wants to say, but sometimes he has too many “stale phrases” in his head. In paragraph 15, Orwell uses a similie to compare “a mass of Latin words fall upon the facts” to “soft snow”, which blurs the outlines, and covers up the details. In paragraph 16, Orwell compares “his words” to “cavalry horses answering the bugle”, which create an analogy that is effective because both words and cavalry horses are powerful.

4: Removing the extensive uses of examples in paragraphs 5, 6, 7 and 8 weakens Orwell’s argument, and makes the passage less interesting and boring
to read. The examples also aid Orwell’s credibility as a writer.

5: The additional information in the footnotes in paragraphs 7 and 8 serve to clarify and expand on his ideas. I believe that he made them footnotes, as opposed to putting the additional information right in the body of the essay, because putting the information in the body of the text would take away focus from what he was writing and the points he was trying to make.

6: Orwell may not have any doctoral qualifications to speak on language, but he establishes his ethos, his ethical appeal; by using an immense amount of examples. He should not of been more direct, he proved his point quite well in the way he already wrote the essay.

7: Orwell’s essay is organized quite exquisitely. He starts the essay with a few introductory paragraphs, then he lists 5 passages where what he just states applies, which is very good at proving his point. Then he speaks on four different sections: Dying Metaphors, Operators or Verbal False Limbs, Pretentious Diction, and Meaningless Words. He uses a ridiculous amount of examples throughout his essay.

8: Orwell’s purpose in writing the essay was to show how much language and wording can affect someone’s writing. His Post-WWII knowledge could aid the essay, because during WWII both sides (Axis & Allied) used propaganda to stress their point, and their propaganda used wording effects quite frequently to get their points across.

9: Orwell’s tone varies across the passage, but he is always trying to accomplish the same goal of the wording effect on language and writing.

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