Politics and the English Language Questions and Answers
by George Orwell

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What are other examples of Orwell using similes and metaphors in "Politics and the English Language"? Please include the rhetorical effectiveness of these devices as part of your answer.

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A simile is simply a figurative device which serves to illuminate one thing by comparing it to something else. In the first paragraph of this piece, Orwell uses a simile to illustrate the general argument stating that it is foolishness to struggle against the changes which inevitably take place in language: to do so is "like preferring candles to electric light or hansom cabs to aeroplanes." The simile presents straightforward examples to make the picture very clear for the reader; it is persuasive exactly because it so aptly illustrates the silliness of choosing what is evidently an inferior option, but it also, perhaps, suggests that these grammarians are being excessively literal. Later in this paragraph, Orwell uses metaphor in stating that language is "an instrument which we shape for our own purposes." While it is common to metaphorically compare language to an instrument or tool, this metaphor forces us to view language in a different way which, perhaps, helps us see the point Orwell...

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