Politics and the English Language Questions and Answers
by George Orwell

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In "Politics and the English Language," did you notice inconsistencies or discrepancies in Orwell's views and opinions?

In his essay "Politics and the English Language," George Orwell claims the "English language is in a very bad way," but then writes in the clear, transparent prose that is the hallmark of his style. In the middle of the essay, in fact, he challenges the reader to "Look back through this essay, and for certain you will find that I have again and committed the very faults I'm protesting about." With almost no exceptions, he doesn't commit them.

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In is seminal essay "Politics and the English Language," George Orwell informs the reader in the very first sentence that the

English language is in a very bad way, but it is generally assumed that we cannot by conscious action do anything about it.

In addition to not believing that—he thinks the problem is curable, and lays out his case not only with practical advice but also in his imitable clear style—Orwell is being modest. Moreover, he does not run afoul of the abominations he preaches against, save for a few harmless examples.

This should not come as a surprise to the reader, a modern one or one of his contemporaries in the 1930s and 1940s. In another essay, “Why I Write,” Orwell says it’s impossible to write something meaningful “unless one constantly struggles to efface one’s own personality.” But Orwell wanted more than to write clearly and reject humbug; he also wanted “to make political writing into an art.”

That statement appears to contradict the idea of...

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