'Politics and the English Language' is widely considered Orwell's most important essay on style. Style, for Orwell, was never simply a question of aesthetics; it was always inextricably linked to politics and to truth.'All issues are political issues, and politics itself is a mass of lies, evasions, folly, hatred and schizophrenia.When the general atmosphere is bad, language must suffer.'Language is a political issue, and slovenly use of language and cliches make it easier for those in power to deliberately use misleading language to hide unpleasant political facts. Bad English, he believed, was a vehicle for oppressive ideology, and it is no accident that 'Politics and the English Language' was written after the close of World War II.
About the Author
Eric Arthur Blair (1903-1950), better known by his pen-name, George Orwell, was born in India, where his father worked for the Civil Service. An author and journalist, Orwell was one of the most prominent and influential figures in twentieth-century literature. His unique political allegory Animal Farm
was published in 1945, and it was this novel, together with the dystopia of Nineteen Eighty-Four
(1949), which brought him world-wide fame. All his novels and non-fiction, including Burmese Days
(1934), Down and Out in Paris and London
(1933), The Road to Wigan Pier
(1937) and Homage to Catalonia
(1938) are published in Penguin Modern Classics.