Orwell Essay

470 Words2 Pages
Written in 1946 the essay “Politics and the English Language” by George Orwell conveys the notion that good writing must abstain from using familiar phrases and ideas, in order to cure the English language. Orwell opens his considerably sophisticated essay with five short passages and explains the faults with each. Orwell believes that each passage has two qualities in common: “staleness of imagery and lack of precision”(3). Orwell believes metaphors that many writers incorporate into their writing are “dying metaphors”(3), which have lost their meaning and show signs that the writer is not interested in his/her own writing. An example of a dying metaphor is “Achilles’ heel”, where many times this metaphor may be used it is not always completely understood. Orwell states “the sole aim of a metaphor is to call up a visual image”(6) and he believes when a metaphor is not used in the right context it shows the writer is not truly interested in their writing. Orwell informs his audience to keep writing as concise as possible. He believes words should be cut out where possible and shorter more concise words should be used in place of larger more complex words. Orwell believes this because when a sentence is dressed up it begins to convey a vague message, which is a sign of poor writing. Orwell shares that writers today are attempting to fuse premade strips of words together to convey a message, rather than thinking organically to actually compose their own sentences to make a meaning clearer and more vivid to a reader. In the essay he believes that a writer should never use a foreign phrase or scientific term unless the message could be conveyed in proper English. In his concluding paragraphs he switches gears and informs the audience of techniques used in political language to make horrible things happening in our world sound not so horrible. In

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