George Orwell Questions and Answers

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"A man may take to drink because he feels himself to be a failure, and then fail all the more completely because he drinks." Why is this quote an example of good, bad or interesting writing?

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Thomas Mccord eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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This quote is taken from "Politics and the English Language," an essay in which Orwell argues that the English language is in "a bad way." Specifically, it has deteriorated as a result of vagueness and "bad habits" which are not grammatically correct and don't convey a clear meaning.

Orwell uses this quote as an analogy: just like a man who feels a failure may turn to drink (and thereby creates further failure), the English language is suffering from a cause which has reinforced the effect. Orwell cannot identify a single cause for the decline of the English language; there are numerous causes, just as a man might turn to drink for a number of different reasons.

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