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New Speak: A Vision of the World

New Speak: A Vision of the World

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Published by Chen-ou Liu
The aim of my essay is to show how language can be used politically to deceive and to manipulate people, and I shall argue that language becomes a thought-control weapon. Further, I suggest that Orwell’s conception of language is in line with contemporary studies in linguistics, shedding some light in understanding the abusive use of language in the political arena today.
The aim of my essay is to show how language can be used politically to deceive and to manipulate people, and I shall argue that language becomes a thought-control weapon. Further, I suggest that Orwell’s conception of language is in line with contemporary studies in linguistics, shedding some light in understanding the abusive use of language in the political arena today.

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Published by: Chen-ou Liu on May 20, 2012
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07/06/2013

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 Newspeak: A Vision of the World by Chen-ou Liu ( 
 )
Today marks the 7
th
anniversary of the submission of my
 English 11
essay.After I submitted this essay, my English teacher started listening to what Iwas trying to say in “broken English” (Note: I was the only non-Englishspeaker, a new immigrant, and the oldest student in her class).
speaking beforenative English speakersI amthe mouth in
 Not I 
opening and closing(for Samuel Beckett)
Short Biography
Born in Taipei, Taiwan, Chen-ou Liu was a college teacher, essayist, editor,and two-time winner of the national Best Book Review Radio ProgramAward. In 2002, he emigrated to Canada and settled in Ajax, a suburb of Toronto. There, he continues to struggle with a life in transition andtranslation. He is the author of 
 Ripples from a Splash: A Collection of Haiku Essays with Award-Winning Haiku
and
 Following the Moon to the Maple Land 
(First Prize Winner of the 2011 Haiku Pix Chapbook Contest), and
 Broken/Breaking English: Selected Short Poems
. Read more of his poems atPoetry in the Moment, http: //chenouliu.blogspot.com/, and of Chenou Liu'swork on PoemHunter, http://www.poemhunter.com/chenou-liu/
 
 Newspeak: A Vision of the World 
The limits of my language mean the limits of my world.-- Ludwig WittgensteinDuring long decades of the Cold War, perhaps no book better captured the moral objections against totalitarian Communism than GeorgeOrwell’s
Nineteen Eight-Four 
; it still remains the most powerful warningagainst the dangers of a totalitarian society.
 Nineteen Eighty-Fou
is one themost famous novels of dystopia, and shows the worst human societyimaginable
1
. The world o
 Nineteen Eighty-Four 
, Oceania, is bleak:individualism is totally suppressed under the control of the ruling Party.Orwell’s work details the seemingly useless efforts of one individual,Winston Smith, to resist, to retain a personal sense of uniqueness. In keepingwith this goal, Smith commits innumerable crimes, solely defined by theParty, throughout the novel, ranging from writing “DOWN WITH BIGBROTHERin his diary, to having an illegal love affair with Julia, togetting himself secretly indoctrinated into the anti-Party Brotherhood. The
 
end of the novel reveals Smith’s rebellion as playing into O’Brien’scampaign of physical and psychological torture, transforming Smith into aloyal subject of Big Brother 
2
. The whole plot is built around Smith’s mindand life. This gives Orwell the opportunity to focus on the reaction of theindividual to totalitarianism, love and cruelty; moreover, it enables thereader to observe and to understand the harsh oppression and skillfulmanipulations of language that the Party, Big Brother, and the ThoughtPolice institute.Of course, the world did not fall under totalitarian control of the Partyas envisioned by Orwell,
 Nineteen Eighty-Four 
still remains an importantnovel: in part for the warning it issues against the abusive nature of authoritarian governments, but even more so for its penetrating analysis of the ways that manipulations of language can be used as a mechanism of control. Throughout
 Nineteen Eighty-Fou
, the actual fighting withneighboring countries is tightly interwoven with a rhetorical war, which hassustained itself mainly by calling attention to the performative nature of language. In Orwell’s view, language is a more important battlefield. Hestresses that language has the influential power in politics to mask the truth,re-write history, and therefore mislead and control the public. He wishes to

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