1984 Essays: Linguistic Brainwashing: Newspeak And Its Subject
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Linguistic Brainwashing: Newspeak and Its Subjects
Each language provides a worldview or the “reality of the world” for the people who speak it. It carries the consciousness of people using it and ideologies employed to explain how lives should be lived. George Orwell’s 1984 is a dystopian novel which explores the world if individualism were nonexistent and wars and violence were the norm. These characteristics of a “totally imperfect world” were mainly illustrated through violence and the regulation of the Newspeak language.
1. Historical Background of the Text
Before the First World War, the ideas of the Enlightenment prevailed in the socialist movements in Europe. However, as people witnessed the death of millions under the illusion of peace during the First and Second World Wars such as the use of the atomic bombs against Japan, the mood shifted from the Western tradition of hope to despair (315-316). Orwell’s 1984 is precisely one of the books that raised the awareness of the people about the despair growing in their consciousness before totally manifesting itself in a form of a more horrifying violence.
During the Second World War, citizens had little freedom and hunger, forced labor, and mass execution were common. Mass executions occur under the delusion of creating a “purer society” under the “will of God.” Orwell witnessed these horrors of the Second World War and served even for the Spanish Civil War during the authoritarian rule of Franco (CITE).