Orwell's Language: Thought Control College

George Orwell’s 1984 portrays a dystopian society whose values and freedoms have been marred through the manipulation of language and thus thought processes. Language has become a tool of mind control for the oppressive government and consequently a tool of rebellion against the Party. Resultant themes arise such as manipulation, surrender, and ardent rebellion as portrayed by the novel’s protagonists, Outer Party members, Winston Smith and Julia (whose last name is unrevealed), as they fight for the freedom of knowledge that has been so inhibited by the Party’s control of everyday and historical language. The control of semantics has been presented as a new language called, “Newspeak” giving meaning to new, unscrupulous words such as, “Doublethink,” which carries several definitions such as complete mental submission to the party. The role of language in 1984 defines themes of control and the decision to rebel or surrender in a dystopian society where mind control has finally been enforced through language.

The Party’s influence on language becomes crucial for its existence when those in power realize the control of language is transitively the control of thoughts. By drawing the borders of one’s vocabulary, a person could...

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