Analysis of Language, Rhetoric, and Politics in George Orwell’s 1984

Categories: Dystopia

This statement coming from the novel entitled Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell contains different meanings depending on its context and rationality. The phrase “war is peace” can be define as a prediction or conclusion that peace is always a result of war. When there is war, there would be peace, which is not always true depends on the situation. The phrase “freedom is slavery” can be said that even if you are free, there are influences, consequences, and contributors that would continue the act of slavery and people would still suffer from these cases.

Because when we say freedom, there would be a form of governance and democracy but as long as authority exists, slavery would still become part of freedom. The phrase “ignorance is strength” can be true sometimes. If you are ignorant, you are more capable of acting without losing anything because you do not know something. Ignorance can be said as an escape to do everything without knowing anything – just to be free.

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However, why do these phrases were stated if they could actually say what is true and correct without any vague, ambiguous, and doublespeak words or languages.

Use of languages can be vague and ambiguous depending on the person who used it, on the context he is relating with, the people he is talking to and the meaning of those words itself. Most often, we use words that are light but critical in order to make our audience or the person we are talking with will be less burdened by the whole situation.

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We use fuzzy, confusing and light words to exemplify the meaning of what we need to say in accordance to their feelings. One of the practical or simplest examples is the words or languages in business.

A corporation needs to reduce its employees due to company problems, but rather than using honest words – they utilized technical words in order to make their employees understand the situations (not the real reason) with no hard feelings or at least minimal objection coming from the employees. One company denied it was laying off 500 people. "We don't characterize it as a layoff," said the corporate spin doctor.

"We're managing our staff resources. Sometimes you manage them up, and sometimes you manage them down. Firing workers is such big business that there are companies whose business is helping other companies fire workers by providing "termination and outplacement consulting" for corporations involved in "reduction activities. " But don't worry, if you're "managed down," the "Outplacement Consultant" will help you with "re-employment engineering. " (Lutz, 1996) Because of these scenarios, people became clueless rather than being educated that are actually needed in every aspect of human life.

In order to become productive, we need to be sophisticated by the fact that we need to understand things that are connected to our jobs, sociological interaction, or even personal maters. However, there are instances when these aspects of understanding and education could not be obtained because people behind those conflicts and problems are apprehended by their actions. Therefore, it is a form of stealing – stealing our learning, knowledge, and privilege to recognize sensitive matters. That is why people having these issues are playing-safe to acquire less refusal or conflicts in the future but the consequences will be more problematic.

Then, a question will rise towards these issues as it become more active during these times. The question will be what are the grounds of these people to state ambiguous, vague, and doublespeak that are more conflicting rather than honest thoughts? I guess, the reason why these things happened is that people are inherently liar in different forms and grounds as also based on the article of Stephanie Ericsson entitled, The Ways We Lie. Why do they need to do these? It is because they need to compel people that there is no problem or everything is all right to extent of lying just to make things better.

We lie. We all do. We minimize, we avoid confrontation, we spare people’s feelings, we conveniently forget, we keep secrets, we justify lying to the big- guy situations. (Ericsson, 1992) This statement shows that we all lie in different situations especially when it is needed or sometimes we used words that are less offensive to minimize the reaction of our audience or who we are talking with. In this case, as connected to the phrases above, use of doublespeak, vague, or ambiguous words are already part of our sociological interaction.

We are doing this in order to make the people less objective to the whole situation. However, we cannot deny the fact that it will soon emerged into a conflicting issues that needs to be done in accordance to the law. Coming from the novel Nineteen Eighty-four by Orwell the statement “robbing its citizens of their capacity for critical thought and reasonable, authentic self-expression” is true not only from the past but also in the present and will still exists in the future. It is a fear we too, in our modern society, must share, or argue that his fear is exaggerated or even unfounded.

Because of the cases that were explained above, people could not be able to express themselves because hey are becoming ignorant to what is true and right. I can say that it is better to recognize the truth despite of the failure that it may cause rather than doing some actions and hoping that there would be a brighter future but actually, there would be no solution to the problem is more miserable. Our political, social, economic, and even personal aspects of living are full of doublespeak words and languages. This is because we are not always open to reality and truth for we do not want to be rejected, obligated, and failure.

Most often, we keep on hiding from our blankets to escape from the certainty of everything. That is why, in order to minimize these cases, people are already doing lesser projections to reduce absurd feelings that may cause tension and despair. However, does political aspect needs these cases to magnify the burdens of the future. Logically, we know that political cases and aspects should be honest when it comes to its decision, preferences, and problems because its citizens are the primary affected from all of it.

Nevertheless, this is not the situation today. There are some situations or maybe almost problematic situations that are hidden from the knowledge of the people for it will bring terrible conflict to the country. If the government could not control the situation and people knew about it, the president or the leader will explain but it will use doublespeak words or languages to make the people more comfortable and to lessen their fright, but up to what extent? Things like these happened after the September 11, 2001 attack in New York.

The president claim that the country is already safe from terror attacks but he did not state any problem after the terror attack. He used doublespeak words to make its people less frightened from the whole situation but he did not say anything about the defenseless cases and problem within the white house that the terrorists already warned them but they did not pay attention to it. In this case, they did not want to be blamed so they made some segues and focused on the future having no further justifications of the past and the present.

In our time, it is broadly true that political writing is bad writing. Where it is not true, it will generally be found that the writer is some kind of rebel, expressing his private opinions and not a "party line. " Orthodoxy, of whatever color, seems to demand a lifeless, imitative style. The political dialects to be found in pamphlets, leading articles, manifestoes, White papers and the speeches of undersecretaries do, of course, vary from party to party, but they are all alike in that one almost never finds in them a fresh, vivid, homemade turn of speech.

As a whole, Orwell’s novel is a revelation of the past situations that still exists today. Language is not a problem but the people who used the language based on their intentions and desire. If they choose not to be obligated and responsible to the problem, they will use doublespeak words, but if we think of it, who will be responsible for all of those problems if no one is honest about everything? Is it the future generation, or our ancestors?

Updated: Nov 01, 2022
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Analysis of Language, Rhetoric, and Politics in George Orwell’s 1984. (2017, Mar 06). Retrieved from

Analysis of Language, Rhetoric, and Politics in George Orwell’s 1984 essay
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