How Does Orwell Use Language In 1984

421 Words2 Pages
In 1984, Orwell paints a nightmarish picture of a totalitarian system gone to the absolute extreme. He believed that totalitarianism and the corruption of language were connected and he integrated it into the novel by using language as the ultimate weapon of destruction. Big Brother uses the power of language to oppress, persuade and control the people of Oceania.
The official language of Oceania is Newspeak, which the party use to control its subjects and outlaw subversive thoughts. The party believe that destroying words will inevitably prevent power from slipping through their fingers. Values such as ‘honour, integrity, morality, etc’ cease to exist. In chapter five, Syme explains to Winston, “We’re cutting the language down to the bone. Newspeak is the only language in the world whose vocabulary gets smaller every year”. Through this quote, it is easy to interpret that ‘Newspeak’ is merely used to restrict the freedom of expression. By limiting the vocabulary, Newspeak is essentially “unintelligible” and hence controls the people’s understanding of the real world.
Orwell emphasises that language is of utmost importance as it structures and limits the ideas individuals are capable of formulating and expressing. In 1984, language is used as a ‘mind control tool’. The party slogan, “war is peace, freedom is
…show more content…
Thinking outside Party Ideology and beliefs is labelled as ‘thought –crime’ because the act of free –independent thinking is unorthodox. When Winston began writing in his diary, he expected to be ‘vaporised’ as he had denounced Big Brother. He states, “thought crime does not entail death; thought crime IS death’. Syme describes destroying words to Winston, “In the end, we shall make thought crime literally impossible because there will be now words in which to express it” In other words, eliminating specific words and concepts strip them of their ability to
Open Document