1984 - Mr. Smith February 21, 2007 A Plusgood Dissertation...

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Unformatted text preview: Mr. Smith February 21, 2007 A Plusgood Dissertation on Language and Thought In 1984 , a new way to of viewing the English language is given to the reader via Newspeak. Newspeak is presented to the reader as an upgrade to the English language, not as an edited version of Oldspeak, the language in which the essay is written. The purpose of Newspeak is simply to fuel the purpose of the Party, which is to gain and maintain complete power over all the citizens in Oceania. Newspeak does this through narrowing ones range of thought by limiting the ways in which one can express their thoughts and feelings. When these ends are achieved, a being will have no trouble believing anything they are told, because they will have no idea in which they can argue against the mandate. Orwell touched upon this topic in one of his essays, while the correlation between thought and language was originally made by the linguists Sapir and Whorf. The idea of Newspeak is glorified in the text, partly because of its effectiveness, which can be proven through the findings of modern linguists. In George Orwells preemptory essay Politics and the English Language , he begins his dissertation with an assertion that encapsulates the very soul of Newspeak-our civilization is decadent and our language -- so the argument runs -- must inevitably share in the general collapse (Orwell, Politics 1). It is to Orwells belief that there is a connection between mankinds intelligence and culture, and the language they express it in. He then, building upon the assertions of Sapir and Whorf, concludes in this relationship if thought corrupts language, language can also corrupt thought (Orwell, Politics 3). It can be inferred that these principles apply to directly to Newspeak, where a language (in this case provided to a citizen through his government) can decay ones...
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This note was uploaded on 03/30/2008 for the course ENGL 101 taught by Professor Various during the Spring '07 term at UNC.

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1984 - Mr. Smith February 21, 2007 A Plusgood Dissertation...

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