George Orwell - Analysis

In his essay Politics And The English Language , George Orwell exemplifies inconsistences with respect to his thought process and his writing style.

The problems Orwell sees in political writing have to do with a lack of clarity on the writer s behalf. Orwell himself uses the very literary devices he considers products of vague political writing in his own essay. In one of his paragraphs, Orwell speaks out against using dated similes and metaphors in writing that one would not hear in everyday conversation, but proceeds to use ...like a cuttlefish squirting out ink (12) to prove one of his points pertaining to insincere language. Orwell again contradicts himself in this manner after he states By using stale metaphors, similes and idioms, you save much mental effort at the cost of leaving your meaning vague (10). He then proceeds to employ the simile ...like calvary horses answering the bugle to stress his point about dreary word patterns, which already contradicts his earlier point speaking negatively about such stale, vague comparisons.

Orwell also contradicts himself with respect to using pre-set phrases in his essay. There is more than one instance in his work where Orwell states that pre-thought and overused phrases are negative aspects in regards to modern and political writing. When one watches some tired hack on the platform mechanically repeating familiar phrases...one often has a curious feeling that one is not watching a lice human being but some kind of dummy (11). However, earlier in the essay Orwell says The attraction of this way of writing is that it is easy. It is easier, even quicker, once you have the habit. (9). Therefore, Orwell blatantly contradicts his view on pre-thought writing styles.

It is important for one to realize the errors in Orwell s writing because in Politics And The English Language he is criticizing the writing style of both political and modern writers. By repeating the very same mistakes he attacks, Orwell s arguments become substantially weaker, revealing that his style is also relatively imperfect in comparison to the stylistic errors he attacks.

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