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''Newspeak'' and ''doublethink'': the annihilated Language in Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell

This dissertation aims at focussing on one important issue at stake in Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell, that is Orwell’s preoccupation about the decay of language. The analysis starts from two essays by Orwell, “New Words” and “Politics and English Language”, and tries to point out their importance in the creation of the distressing language of Nineteen Eighty-Four. The aim is to show the shrewdness of Orwell’s study about the relationship between language and society. Through the literary inventions of the “Newspeak” and the “doublethink”, the author denounces the dangers of a deliberately distorted language. The first chapter deals with his two essays. In “New words” Orwell complains the lack of words in the English language conveying abstract thoughts. The solution Orwell suggests is that of invention of a new vocabulary. In “Politics and English Language” Orwell underlines the danger of the perversion of the language implied in its overtly political use. Orwell states that this perversion has already started and thus suggests some rules for the correct use of language. The arguments of “New words” and “Politics and English Language” are the sources for the invented language of Nineteen Eighty-Four, the “Newspeak”, which shows the outcome of the extreme manipulation of language, where any thought of dissent is practically made unthinkable. The “doublethink” is the necessary mental attitude to be able to use the “Newspeak”, without feeling a deep sensation of self-betrayal. The “doublethink” is the essence of the ambiguity of political discourses.The second and the third chapter of this dissertation are devoted to the analysis of the essential features of “Newspeak” and “doublethink”. In the second chapter, after a short introduction to the main different attempts at creating an international language and the due quotation of Swift as the major influence on Orwell’s work, the focus is on the most significant manifestations of the “Newspeak” throughout Nineteen Eighty-Four. The third chapter is dedicated to the sources of “doublethink”, and to its appearances in the novel in the relationships between the principal characters: i.e. the protagonist Winston Smith and the ambiguous member of the ruler Party O’ Brien. The last chapter of this dissertation is devoted to the lucid intuitions of Orwell about the destiny of the intellectual. In the analysis of the unequal intellectual duel between Winston and O’ Brien, Orwell denounces the defeat of the only thinking man, while O’Brien’s lunatic arguments get the better of the last attempt for a free thought and for a free language.

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3 Introduction This dissertation aims at focussing on one important issue at stake in Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell, that is Orwell’s preoccupation about the decay of language. The analysis starts from two essays by Orwell, “New Words” and “Politics and English Language”, and tries to point out their importance in the creation of the distressing language of Nineteen Eighty-Four. The aim is to show the shrewdness of Orwell’s study about the relationship between language and society. Through the literary inventions of the “Newspeak” and the “doublethink”, the author denounces the dangers of a deliberately distorted language. The first chapter deals with his two essays. In “New words” Orwell complains the lack of words in the English language conveying abstract thoughts. The solution Orwell suggests is that of invention of a new vocabulary. In “Politics and English Language” Orwell underlines the danger of the perversion of the language implied in its overtly political use. Orwell states that this perversion has already started and thus suggests some rules for the correct use of language. The arguments of “New words” and “Politics and English Language” are the sources for the invented language of Nineteen Eighty-Four, the “Newspeak”, which shows the outcome of the extreme manipulation of language, where any thought of dissent is practically made unthinkable. The “doublethink” is the necessary mental attitude to be able to use the “Newspeak”, without feeling a deep sensation of self-betrayal. The “doublethink” is the essence of the ambiguity of political discourses.

Laurea liv.I

Facoltà: Lingue e Letterature Straniere Moderne

Autore: Aurora Biondo Contatta »

Composta da 27 pagine.

 

Questa tesi ha raggiunto 5758 click dal 05/12/2006.

 

Consultata integralmente 4 volte.

Disponibile in PDF, la consultazione è esclusivamente in formato digitale.