by George Orwell
I just finished it and I would like to say I am glad that I read it. Mainly because, I believe, it will be extremely helpful on the APs next year. Aside from that it was very interesting—one of the most terrifying (for lack of a better word) utopian novels.
There were some parts of the novel that I skipped reading (mainly passages from the book), but I have full intention of reviewing them later.
Honestly, Animal Farm put me off from Orwell for a while but this one is a great read especially if you like Divergent, the Hunger Games, or even The Giver (which I did not like much).
I will not delve into the plot too much, but I wanted to talk about the essay that came after the novel in my annotated penguin edition (which has a beautiful cover by the way). It was titled “Politics and the English Language” and it somewhat upset me, though I have not read it thoroughly.
Why shouldn’t we use elevated language in the way we speak and write? I think a person is at perfect liberty to speak or write as he or she deems fit. Maybe the writer was talking about politicians, in which case, I agree that they should speak simply, as average people speak. They should not discriminate with their language and should make it as simple as possible so what truth they speak is understood to all. It certainly seems true that politicians use vague and decorative words when trying to avoid direct confrontation on a subject.
Overall, I do not think the essayist was only talking about politicians. In my opinion, a normal person is as involved in politics as a politician is, because without a strong support, the politician cannot sustain his- or herself. I think the essay was talking about average people in the way they write, trying to make themselves sound more knowledgeable about subjects or more verbose, when really they’re only speaking nonsense.
(For some reason it rather reminded me of the Great Gatsby where people would say terrifically profound statements that meant absolutely nothing at all.)
[Alternatively, maybe the author was just wanted people to get to the point. Very talkative people must have surrounded him.]
However, I think that language is a tool that can be used for good and for bad and that freedom of speech means that you can choose how to use your words for whatever cause you think is important. However harsh that may seem for all you do-gooders.