Which best describes george orwell’s purpose and the way he achieves it in this excerpt?
- Which best describes george orwell’s purpose and the way he achieves it in this excerpt?
- Teaching to transgress, by bell hooks audiobook excerpt
- The prophets by robert jones, jr. (indie next pick
- 1984 by george orwell, part 1: crash course literature 401
- Boss up!, by lindsay teague moreno audiobook excerpt
Teaching to transgress, by bell hooks audiobook excerpt
Most people who care about the subject will agree that the English language is in poor shape, but it is widely assumed that we cannot change it by deliberate action. Our culture is decrepit, and our language, according to the logic, will eventually succumb to the same fate. As a result, any fight against language violence is a nostalgic archaism, similar to preferring candles to electric light or hansom cabs to planes. The half-conscious conviction that language is a natural growth rather than an instrument that we form for our own purposes lies underneath this.
It is now clear that the deterioration of a language must be due to political and economic factors, rather than simply the bad influence of a single writer. An effect, on the other hand, may become a trigger, reinforcing the original cause and creating a stronger version of the same effect, and so on forever. A man can begin to drink because he perceives himself to be a failure, only to fail even more completely as a result of his drinking. The English language is undergoing a similar transformation. When our thoughts are foolish, it becomes ugly and incorrect, but the slovenliness of our language makes it easier for us to have foolish thoughts. The important thing to remember is that the mechanism is reversible. Modern English, especially written English, is riddled with bad habits that propagate by imitation and can be avoided if one is willing to put in the effort. If these habits are broken, one can think more clearly, and thinking clearly is a vital first step toward political regeneration: so that the battle against bad English is not pointless and is not solely the responsibility of skilled authors. I’ll return to this later, and hopefully the sense of what I’ve said here will have been clearer by then. Meanwhile, here are five examples of the English language in its current form.
The prophets by robert jones, jr. (indie next pick
The tone of 1984 is grim, cynical, and bleak, implying that the book is intended as a warning of how horrible life would be if totalitarian forces triumph. Even seemingly insignificant details and photographs in the novel contribute to the novel’s bleak, negative sound. In the book, Orwell fills the apartments and offices with foul odors, noise, and a lack of privacy. Food is bland and unappealing, and vices such as alcohol and tobacco are unsatisfactory and of low quality. “Half the tobacco promptly dropped out onto his lips, a bitter dust which was difficult to spit out again,” Winston says as he attempts to smoke.
This tone echoes the novel’s dystopian mood and themes. Oceania is ruled by an authoritarian government with a cult of personality among its rulers. Conformism and crowd mentality have been channeled from people’s more optimistic attributes. Winston has built a cynical, fatalistic outlook in the face of this backdrop, believing himself to be as good as dead from the moment he starts writing in his diary: “To be killed was what you expected.”
1984 by george orwell, part 1: crash course literature 401
“A meticulous writer would ask himself at least four questions in any sentence he writes, as follows: 1. What exactly am I attempting to convey? 2. How can you put it into words? 3. What picture or idiom can help you understand it better? 4. Is this picture current enough to have an impact?”
“Insincerity is the greatest foe of plain words. When there is a misalignment between one’s true and proclaimed goals, one unconsciously turns to long words and tired idioms, like a cuttlefish spurting ink.”
“A meticulous writer would ask himself at least four questions in any sentence he writes, as follows: 1. What exactly am I attempting to convey? 2. How can you put it into words? 3. What picture or idiom can help you understand it better? 4. Does this picture appear to be recent enough to have an impact? He’ll almost certainly ask himself two more questions: 1. Can I put it more succinctly? 2. Have I said anything offensive that could have been avoided? However, you are not obligated to go to such lengths. You can avoid it by actually opening your mind and allowing ready-made phrases to flood in. They’ll construct your sentences for you — and, to some degree, think your thoughts for you — and, if necessary, they’ll perform the crucial task of partially concealing your sense even from yourself.”
Boss up!, by lindsay teague moreno audiobook excerpt
With exhaustion, WINSTON became gelatinous. The word that came to mind was gelatinous. It had just popped into his head out of nowhere. His body possessed not only the weakness but also the translucency of a jelly. He believed he could see the light through his hand if he kept it up. An immense debauch of work had drained all of his blood and lymph, leaving him with only a fragile system of nerves, bones, and skin. All seemed to be amplified. His overalls irritated his shoulders, the pavement irritated his feet, and even the simple act of opening and closing a hand was a strain on his joints.
In five days, he had worked more than ninety hours. Everyone else in the Ministry had done the same. It was all done now, and he had nothing to do until the morning of the next day, no Party work of any kind. He could hide for six hours and then sleep for nine hours in his own bed. Slowly, in the mild afternoon sunlight, he walked up a dingy street toward Mr Charrington’s store, keeping one eye out for the patrols but irrationally believing that no one would interfere with him this afternoon. With each move, the large briefcase he was carrying brushed up against his knee, sending a tingling feeling up and down his leg’s skin. It contained the book, which he had had in his possession for six days but had yet to open or even look at.