Teacher Guide

Politics and the English Language Lesson Plan

Introduction to Politics and the English Language

"Politics and the English Language" is a famous nonfiction essay written by George Orwell and published in the journal Horizons in 1946. The essay's title clearly lays out its subject: the state of the English language and its implications for politics and culture.

Orwell's essential thesis is that English is becoming more vague, inflated, and pretentious, which is leading to the decline of original thought and therefore the dissolution of society. Vague English is also a tool of political oppression. It can obfuscate reality, allowing atrocities to be anesthetized and presented as neutral. By recycling and only communicating through clichéd phrases, people lose the ability to think for...

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