Orwell is interested in the modern use of the English language, in particular, the abuse and misuse of English. He points out that the language has the power in politics to coil the truth and mislead the society, and he emphasizes on the significance of the society, to be keen on this fact. He accomplishes this issue by placing grand substance on newspeak and the media (Orwell, 133). He explains the continuous misuse of the language by the government and media by explicating how the society can be misled using the language leading to a society, which people accept all propaganda as reality without having second thoughts. This facilitates the destruction of the language considering it to be a mind-controlling tool.
Generally, any given society will strive to develop their idiolect social networking. One of the newspeak engineers says, “We are cutting the language down to the bone and this has an adverse effect on newspeak because its vocabulary becomes limited as we advance”. The governments’ intentions are to change the society’s way of thinking by corrupting the language since they believe newspeak will make the society more aware of their rights hence become rebellious to the government (Black, 213). It becomes more difficult to think about words and even communicate, when words describing a particular thing are absent from a language. For concerned players, the mission is to enforce a conventional reality and ensure deviating thought, incredible. The features of newspeak that help restrict thought are reduced complexity, few abstractions, and no self-reference. The government prefers narrow society thinking, because a society that lacks the ability to think critically presents fewer hazards than one that can readily criticize the government and defend itself from manipulation and destruction.
Indeed, the media generally controls and influences some of the ways in which people act and view the way of living (Wilkins, 176). In the essay, “Politics and the English Language”, Orwell asserts that Political Language is engineered to appeal to the masses even though lies and empty promises are being communicated. For instance, the media that is regulated and ruled by the government in the 21st century all over the world continually spreads the gospel on the need of dignity, unity, integrity, truth, reconciliation, and justice for a country to move forward. However, the authenticity of these librettos in dignity is unworthiness, unity is disarray, integrity deals with dishonesty, truth is concerned with the falsification of records, and reconciliation is enmity (Orwell, 98). The mockery in the words is apparently quite visible. The media can indeed use the language to mask the reality of issues on the ground.
Orwell pictures a tyrannical system that is decreed on the society in the 21stcentury society, whereby it majorly entails the psychological control of the society. The government does employ cruelty as a control measure. However, the psychological control strategies are overriding, and that is where their strength lies, since the strategies are not quite tangible (Surhone, Timpledon and Marseken, 85). Psychological strategies can be continuously applied to the society without raising much concern, unlike physical punishment, when used that can be easily realized and felt by the people. It is for these reasons that newspeak is utilized in the place of torture for facilitating the erasure of thought crime. The media employ linguistics and newspeak to deceit and brainwash the public in the pretense that they are making the society more informative concerning global matters (McArthur, 117).
The party is continually corrupting the language in order to distort the past crucial information. Moreover, its plans are underway to delink the real past entirely from the society by introducing a language barrier that will make it difficult, for many people, if not all, to understand their history. When tangible knowledge of the old language fades, the history will have been distorted (McArthur, 203). The society will no longer be able to translate information from the history after a few generations. The urge to know more about history will diminish since the past information will reflect inaccurate reality. Thus, the manipulation of language has negative effects on the present, past and future in an immense way. A party slogan in Orwell’s essay points out that those who managed the past will also manage the future, whereas those controlling the present have power over the past (Orwell, 56). Indeed, this is reality even in the 21stcentury world.
Leaders and politicians in the 21st century have employed the written language to corrupt history. For instance, much distortion of history occurred in the Stalinist era and involved gross misinformation depending on the party line (Surhone, Timpledon and Marseken, 183). Thus, this resulted to alteration of the Soviet Encyclopedia with successive editions depicting Trotsky as a hero before becoming a villain. Orwell’s essay has influential and immense focus on the misuse of the language, since it is a crucial tool for communication all over the world.
In conclusion, Orwell’s work details on the command of the language. It shows how the language can influence people’s view of the realities of the world, how it can be used to cover up truths, and how it can be used to distort history. Language is a key instrument of political power as it functions as an underground way of the tyrannical control of the society. Thus, Orwell’s essay speaks to the 21st century, because it reflects what takes place in many countries currently. However, the language can expand our understanding of the world and social network. In his essay, Orwell emphasizes that the language can function as a “plot against human consciousness,” when politicians use it in a malicious way.