THE PRINCIPLES OF NEWSPEAK OR HOW LANGUAGE DEFINES REALITY IN ORWELL'S 1984

Abstract

Author(s): Mehran SHADI

George Orwell in 1984 vividly depicts a totalitarian regime which draws upon multiple resources and an array of methods in order to control the minds of the individuals. In this paper, an argument is made that the true struggle between the collective and individual identity is underway in the domain of the totalizing discourse, and the discourse is a linguistic entity. It has been discussed how language is the only means by which the understanding of the world, both in its objective and subjective manifestations, is made possible and how the aspirations of the Oceania regime towards the control of the language, which is seen in its attempt to create Newspeak, is the key step towards the realization of a fully totalitarian ruling power. Then distinctive features of the Orwellian Newspeak are closely investigated to demonstrate how Newspeak functions by reducing the number of words in lexicon, hacking down the semantic horizons of the existing vocabulary and rigorously doing away with ambiguities and shades of meaning. It is argued that ambiguities and indeterminacy markers are the opportunities for the users of the language to practice their creative powers, and the Orwellian attempt to dispose of them in Newspeak is the final realization of totalitarianism that can be imaginable.

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