Written under the supervision of Lisette Allen, M.A., and submitted on 5 May 2010, this essay was part of my total coursework at the Department of Anglophone Literatures and Cultures at Charles University’s Faculty of Arts. The essay is published with the kind permission of the faculty.
The Importance of Language in George Orwell’s Novels
Choosing a proper style is one of the most crucial aspects of writing. A whiff of colloquialism, despite being reader-friendly, might be viewed as a sign of sloppiness. At the same time, opting for overly formal language may make one indifferent to or detached from the reader, and texts rich with figurative language may be so pompous that their meaning is invariably lost under the layer of adjectives and metaphors. This essay will concentrate on the language of George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four, its impact on the readers’ perception of individual social classes and the book itself, and the issue of whether it would stand up to its scrutiny under the stylistic guidelines Orwell laid out in his essay “Politics and the English Language”. Additionally, Orwell’s literary development will be touched on, and the language of Nineteen Eighty-Four confronted with his other novels BurmeseDays and Animal Farm.
Photo by tim rich and lesley katon, Flickr, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
Before anything else, however, we should pay some attention to the way Orwell himself approached language. As A. M. Tibbetts writes, “Orwell’s views on English were broadly and humanistically based” (Tibbets). Orwell was very fond of the English language and felt strongly about writers abusing it by their dishonest rhetoric and linguistic incompetence. He most explicitly expressed these opinions in his essay “Politics and the English Language” (Orwell, Politics). Despite his strong view regarding the correct use of language, however, Orwell did not have any more knowledge about its structure then any other average Briton would (Bolton, 21). He was doing his best, of course, but he was also aware of the fact that, as far as his stylistic development was concerned, he could never stop pushing his boundaries. Despite his struggles, he felt doubtful and even self-demeaning of his own writing style, which is clearly visible in the following quotation where the inability to express himself perfectly seems to have felt emasculating to him: “When I read a book like Ulysses and then come back to my own work, I feel like a eunuch [who] can pass himself off fairly well as a bass or baritone, but if you listen closely you can hear the good old squeak just the same as ever” (Bolton, 147). The attempt to reach aesthetic perfection was not the sole aim of his writing. Orwell states he writes particularly “because there is some lie I want to expose” (Orwell, Why I Write). For Orwell, the greatest sources of lies were totalitarian regimes. He wrote: “Every line of serious work I have written since 1936 has been written, directly or indirectly, against totalitarianism and for democratic socialism, as I understand it” (Orwell, Why I Write). Two of his most famous novels belong to this category: Nineteen Eighty-Four and Animal Farm. In both of them, Orwell uncovers the dangers of totalitarianism, and in both the use and abuse of language plays key part.
The importance of the language is a crucial theme in all his novels, of course. What is necessary to realize, though, is that Orwell’s writing developed over time. When thinking about the style and language of his first novel, Burmese Days, Orwell had a clear idea in mind: “I wanted to write enormous naturalistic novels with unhappy endings, full of detailed descriptions and arresting similes, and also full of purple passages in which words were used partly for the sake of their own sound” (Orwell, Why I Write). Some of these resolutions, such as the use of similes or the nature of the endings, remained throughout his writing unchanged but especially Burmese Days bears the signs of so-called purple prose, “the style of writing that tends to be so extravagantly worded that you really have very little idea of what is actually being said” (Joyce). Consider, for instance, the lengthy description of one of the characters here: “He was an erect, narrow-shouldered man, very tall for Burman, with a curiously smooth face that recalled a coffee blancmange” (Burmese Days, 5). Not only is this description unnecessary but the number of adjectives is so high the reader might get lost in the sentence, even despite its shortness. To be fair, Orwell knew about these imperfections and on the behalf of his early work he wrote: “I see that it is invariably where I lacked a political purpose that I wrote lifeless books and was betrayed into purple passages, sentences without meaning, decorative adjectives and humbug generally” (Orwell, Why I Write). We must not think that this was his condemnation of his first fruits. He knew that it is inevitable for any writing style to change. He merely believed that “by the time you have perfected any style of writing, you have always outgrown it” (Orwell, Why I Write). In the light of this statement, Animal Farm marked a major shift in his career. Orwell stopped using overblown language and decorative adjectives and his work, therefore, became more precise in its meaning. While merely testing this approach in Animal Farm, it culminated in Nineteen Eighty-Four.
It would be rather hypocritical of Orwell to, on one hand, denounce certain approaches to language, certain words and figures of speech, and on the other use them in his own work. We should, therefore, ask whether in Nineteen Eighty-Four he obeys the rules established in “Politics and the English Language”. In the essay, Orwell condemns the use of the passive, double negation, overused metaphors and foreign and meaningless words but, above all, he fights against the tendency to replace the concrete for the vague. Thankfully, vagueness of expression is something not to be found in Nineteen Eighty-Four. The book is more than precise in a sense that what could be said euphemistically is described in a very clear fashion. For example, when pondering about the purpose of the Ministry of Love, the narrator says: “One did not know what happened inside the Ministry of Love, but it was possible to guess: tortures, drugs, delicate instruments that registered your nervous reactions, gradual wearing-down by sleepiness, and solitude and persistent questioning” (Nineteen Eighty-Four, 137). This is what Carl Freedman calls “dogmatic distrust of generalization and an extreme preference for the particular” (Freedman). The author could have simply stopped and use some euphemism instead of the concrete list of cruelties, but then the message of the text would not be nearly as powerful, and would not invoke as strong a reaction of fear and contempt in the readers.
The preciseness of the text is not just a matter of saying everything outright. There are virtually no ambiguous double negations and also the use of passive is rather scarce. It even seems that whenever the passive is used, it has some negative connotation, as for instance in the sentences: “people who had been vaporized” (Nineteen Eighty-Four, 37) or “phrase that was generally used for children who denounced their parents to Thought Police” (Nineteen Eighty-Four, 23). This observation is also valid in AnimalFarm where the scarcely employed passive is used for example in connection with evil Napoleon’s rival who “was not considered to have the same depth of character” (Animal Farm, 26) or the twisted Commandments which “were written on a tarred wall” (Nineteen Eighty-Four, 32).
The only foreign expression in Nineteen Eighty-Four has a negative connotation, too. The excerpts from Goldstein’s book are already ostentatious for their heavy use of Latinate words, but when the expression “lingua franca“ (Nineteen Eighty-Four, 168) comes, it immediately catches the attention of anybody who is familiar with “Politics and the English Language”. It almost seems as if the expression was a sort of an omen and sure enough, only moments after the character finishes the reading, he is arrested and sent for torture.
The use of lyrical language is rather rare in order to preserve the raw quality of the text. Apart from a couple of instances of a bit more lyrical expressions such as “[a bird] pouring its music into nothingness” (Nineteen Eighty-Four, 102), the only cases of the employment of figurative language are the short and often striking similes. For instance, Julia’s revolt against the Party is described as “natural and healthy, like the sneeze of a horse that smells bad hay” (Nineteen Eighty-Four, 101), the children’s informer game as “frightening, like a gamboling of tiger cubs which will soon grow up into man-eaters” (Nineteen Eighty-Four, 22) or a pregnant woman as “swollen like a fertilized fruit” (Nineteen Eighty-Four, 176). Sometimes, Orwell even uses slightly informal, violent language in order to remain unequivocal. When describing the taste of gin, he writes: “The stuff was like nitric acid, and moreover, in swallowing it one had the sensation of being hit on the back of the head with a rubber club” (Nineteen Eighty-Four, 108). The favour in the use of similes, although not nearly as striking and often clichéd ones, is visible also in the rest of Orwell’s novels. In Burmese Days there are similes such as “mud, glistening like a chocolate” (Burmese Days, 168) or “lumps hard as concrete” (burmese Days, 239) and in Animal Farm as ”earth like iron” (Animal Farm, 52) or “go like clockwork” (Animal Farm, 36).
In Nineteen Eighty-Four, the language also plays an essential role in morally distinguishing between the good and the bad. While discussing this topic, however, we have to realize that “language manipulation is a neutral, natural human activity” and that “any goodness or badness depends on the context of the whole situation” (Rank). Even under these circumstances, choosing sides is fairly easy. Simply put, the main characters speak ordinary, easily understood English and are therefore more likely to be perceived as likeable; “Proles” are depicted as “the dumb masses” (Nineteen Eighty-Four, 168) and are therefore given less understandable and, in a way, pitiable Cockney accent and members of the Party are in their speech gradually moving toward the despicable ideal of Newspeak (Bolton, 143).
There are several aspects of this newly created language that show why Orwell thought this to be the worst-case scenario in the development of his mother tongue. Firstly, Newspeak is build entirely upon the simplification of human speech and destroying words with any precise meaning. One of the characters even remarks with pride: “We’re destroying words – scores of them, hundreds of them, every day. We’re cutting the language down to the bone” (Nineteen Eighty-Four, 44). The reason for this may be that “if you don’t have the word available for an idea, you have trouble thinking of it” (Tibbets). The corruption of language and mind essentially go hand-in-hand. Therefore, the creation of Newspeak is merely the Party’s attempt – although not particularly successful so far – to control its members by removing their ability to question its actions. A good example of generalization so wide that the meaning is almost completely lost is in a report that the main character overhears in a pub: “I am authorized to say that the action we are now reporting may well bring the war within measurable distance of its end.” There is no valid information contained in this report – “the measurable distance” is so imprecise an expression that any inkling of the actual time-frame is virtually non-existent.
Secondly, the most preferable tool of writing in Newspeak is the use of ready-made phrases. For Orwell, this is one of the greatest sins people can commit that shows their disrespect for the language. In the novel, he explicitly writes: “[There were] printed postcards with long lists of phrases, and you struck out the ones that were inapplicable” (Nineteen Eighty-Four, 91). Once again, the less effort people have to make while writing, the less they think, and the better for the Party.
Ironically enough, as Carl Freedman points out, there are a few common links that bind together Newspeak and the preferable language of “Politics and the English Language”. First, in the essay, Orwell denounces the unthinking use of general words such as democracy, justice or science which are “strictly meaningless in a sense that they do not point to any discoverable object” in favour of more precise expressions. Similarly, Newspeak banishes most of these general or ambiguous words, while creating specific abbreviations of the others such as Ingsoc, artsem or Miniluv. Secondly, the same as Orwell advises in the essay to cut any word out if possible, Newspeak regards the reduction of vocabulary as an end in itself (Nineteen Eighty-Four, 242). In both cases, these endeavors result in a reduction of vocabulary. Needless to say, though, that they do so from completely opposite reasons. Orwell must have believed that the simplification of the language is a double-edged sword. On one hand it could be used for making people think less, making them submissive and controllable. On the other hand, if used for a good cause, it could work as a perfect eye-opener for the blind and the ignorant who refuse to see the common threat.
Before the coming of the 1936 Spanish Civil War, the outbreak of the Second World War, and the consequent danger of totalitarian regimes, Orwell was a sort of an idealist, but he soon became disillusioned. In order to warn of the perils of Communism, he developed a special language, very clear in its expression, unbiased and honest. He changed so that his readers would realize the danger and change their beliefs and behavior as well. It may be arguable that what he did was essentially a personal propaganda which he used to persuade the society of his own beliefs – pretty much the same kind of propaganda he actually militated against. In a sense, it is a relevant objection but then we must realize that his propaganda was somewhat different, somewhat special. George Orwell was essentially a propagandist for the good.
Bolton, W. F. The Language of 1984. The University of Tennessee Press: Knoxville, 1984.
Foley, J., and Ayer, J. “Orwell in English and Newspeak: A Computer Translation”. College Composition and Communication. February 1966. Vol. 17, No. 1: 15-18. Accessed by <www.jstor.org>
Freedman, Carl. “Writing, Ideology, and Politics: Orwell’s ‘Politics and the English Language’ and English Composition”. College English. April 1981. Vol. 43, No. 4: 327-339. Accessed by <www.jstor.org>
Joyce, Julie. „Purple Prose and Link-Building.“ Search Engine Journal. 17 April 2010. 17 April 2010. <http://www.searchenginejournal.com/purple-prose-and-link-building/16426/>
Orwell, George. Animal Farm. Hartcourt Brace Jovanovich: New York, 1971.
Orwell, George. Burmese Days. Penguin Books: London, 1989.
Orwell, George. Nineteen Eighty-Four. Penguin Books: New York, 1982.
Orwell, George. “Politics and the English Language”. 24 July 2004. 11 April 2010 <http://www.orwell.ru/library/essays/politics/english/e_polit>
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Rank, Hugh. “Mr. Orwell, Mr. Schlesinger, and the Language”. College Composition and Communication. May 1977. Vol. 28, No. 2: 159-165. Accessed by <www.jstor.org>
Tibbetts, A.M. “What Did Orwell Think About the English Language”. College Composition and Communication. May 1978. Vol. 29, No. 2: 162-166. Accessed by <www.jstor.org>
"Politics and the English Language" (1946) is an essay by George Orwell that criticises the "ugly and inaccurate" written English of his time and examines the connection between political orthodoxies and the debasement of language.
The essay focuses on political language, which, according to Orwell, "is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind." Orwell believed that the language used was necessarily vague or meaningless because it was intended to hide the truth rather than express it. This unclear prose was a "contagion" which had spread to those who did not intend to hide the truth, and it concealed a writer's thoughts from himself and others. Orwell encourages concreteness and clarity instead of vagueness, and individuality over political conformity.
Orwell relates what he believes to be a close association between bad prose and oppressive ideology:
In our time, political speech and writing are largely the defence of the indefensible. Things like the continuance of British rule in India, the Russian purges and deportations, the dropping of the atom bombs on Japan, can indeed be defended, but only by arguments which are too brutal for most people to face, and which do not square with the professed aims of political parties. Thus political language has to consist largely of euphemism, question-begging and sheer cloudy vagueness. Defenceless villages are bombarded from the air, the inhabitants driven out into the countryside, the cattle machine-gunned, the huts set on fire with incendiary bullets: this is called pacification. Millions of peasants are robbed of their farms and sent trudging along the roads with no more than they can carry: this is called transfer of population or rectification of frontiers. People are imprisoned for years without trial, or shot in the back of the neck or sent to die of scurvy in Arctic lumber camps: this is called elimination of unreliable elements. Such phraseology is needed if one wants to name things without calling up mental pictures of them.
One of Orwell's points is:
The great enemy of clear language is insincerity. When there is a gap between one's real and one's declared aims, one turns as it were instinctively to long words and exhausted idioms, like a cuttlefish spurting out ink.
The insincerity of the writer perpetuates the decline of the language as people (particularly politicians, Orwell later notes) attempt to disguise their intentions behind euphemisms and convoluted phrasing. Orwell says that this decline is self-perpetuating. He argues that it is easier to think with poor English because the language is in decline, as the language declines, "foolish" thoughts become even easier, reinforcing the original cause:
A man may take to drink because he feels himself to be a failure, and then fail all the more completely because he drinks. It is rather the same thing that is happening to the English language. It becomes ugly and inaccurate because our thoughts are foolish, but the slovenliness of our language makes it easier for us to have foolish thoughts.
Orwell discusses "pretentious diction" and "meaningless words". "Pretentious diction" is used to make biases look impartial and scientific, while "meaningless words" are used to stop the reader from seeing the point of the statement. According to Orwell: "In certain kinds of writing, particularly in art criticism and literary criticism, it is normal to come across long passages which are almost completely lacking in meaning."
Orwell chooses five passages of text which "illustrate various of the mental vices from which we now suffer." The samples are: by Harold Laski ("five negatives in 53 words"), Lancelot Hogben (mixed metaphors), an essay by Paul Goodman on psychology in the July 1945 issue of politics ("simply meaningless"), a communist pamphlet ("an accumulation of stale phrases") and a reader's letter in Tribune (in which "words and meaning have parted company"). From these, Orwell identifies a "catalogue of swindles and perversions" which he classifies as "dying metaphors", "operators or verbal false limbs", "pretentious diction" and "meaningless words". (see cliches, prolixity, peacock terms and weasel words).
Orwell notes that writers of modern prose tend not to write in concrete terms but use a "pretentious latinized style" (compare Anglish). He claims writers find it is easier to gum together long strings of words than to pick words specifically for their meaning, particularly in political writing, where Orwell notes that "[o]rthodoxy ... seems to demand a lifeless, imitative style." Political speech and writing are generally in defence of the indefensible and so lead to a euphemistic inflated style.
Orwell criticises bad writing habits which spread by imitation. He argues that writers must think more clearly because thinking clearly "is a necessary first step toward political regeneration". He later emphasises that he was not "considering the literary use of language, but merely language as an instrument for expressing and not for concealing or preventing thought."
"Translation" of Ecclesiastes
As a further example, Orwell "translates" Ecclesiastes 9:11:
I returned and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favour to men of skill; but time and chance happeneth to them all.
— into "modern English of the worst sort":
Objective consideration of contemporary phenomena compels the conclusion that success or failure in competitive activities exhibits no tendency to be commensurate with innate capacity, but that a considerable element of the unpredictable must invariably be taken into account.
Orwell points out that this "translation" contains many more syllables but gives no concrete illustrations, as the original did, nor does it contain any vivid, arresting images or phrases.
The headmaster's wife at St Cyprian's School, Mrs. Cicely Vaughan Wilkes (nicknamed "Flip"), taught English to Orwell and used the same method to illustrate good writing to her pupils. She would use simple passages from the King James Bible and then "translate" them into poor English to show the clarity and brilliance of the original.Walter John Christie, who followed Orwell to Eton College, wrote that she preached the virtues of "simplicity, honesty, and avoidance of verbiage", and pointed out that the qualities Flip most prized were later to be seen in Orwell's writing.
Remedy of Six Rules
Orwell said it was easy for his contemporaries to slip into bad writing of the sort he had described and that the temptation to use meaningless or hackneyed phrases was like a "packet of aspirins always at one's elbow". In particular, such phrases are always ready to form the writer's thoughts for him to save him the bother of thinking—or writing—clearly. However, he concluded that the progressive decline of the English language was reversible, and suggested six rules which, he claimed, would prevent many of these faults although, "one could keep all of them and still write bad English".
- Never use a metaphor, simile, or other figure of speech which you are used to seeing in print. (Examples which Orwell gives of breaking this rule include ring the changes, Achilles' heel, swan song, and hotbed. He describes these as "dying metaphors", and argues that these phrases are used without knowing what is truly being said. Furthermore, he says that using metaphors of this kind makes the original meaning of the phrases meaningless, because those using the phrases do not know their original meaning. Orwell states that "some metaphors now current have been twisted out of their original meaning without those who use them even being aware of the fact.")
- Never use a long word where a short one will do.
- If it is possible to cut a word out, always cut it out.
- Never use the passive where you can use the active.
- Never use a foreign phrase, a scientific word, or a jargon word if you can think of an everyday English equivalent.
- Break any of these rules sooner than say anything outright barbarous.
"Politics and the English Language" was first noted in Orwell's payment book of 11 December 1945. The essay was originally published in the April 1946 issue of the journal Horizon (volume 13, issue 76, pages 252–265); it was Orwell's last major article for the journal. The essay was originally intended for George Weidenfeld's Contact magazine but it was turned down.
From the time of his wife's death in March 1945 Orwell had maintained a high work rate, producing some 130 literary contributions, many of them lengthy. Animal Farm had been published in August 1945 and Orwell was experiencing a time of critical and commercial literary success. He was seriously ill in February and was desperate to get away from London to the island of Jura, Scotland, where he wanted to start work on Nineteen Eighty-Four.
"Politics and the English Language" was published nearly simultaneously with another of Orwell's essays, "The Prevention of Literature". Both reflect Orwell's concern with truth and how truth depends upon the use of language. Orwell noted the deliberate use of misleading language to hide unpleasant political and military facts and also identified a laxity of language among those he identified as pro-soviet. In The Prevention of Literature he also speculated on the type of literature under a future totalitarian society which he predicted would be formulaic and low grade sensationalism. Around the same time Orwell wrote an unsigned editorial for Polemic in response to an attack from "Modern Quarterly". In this he highlights the double-talk and appalling prose of J. D. Bernal in the same magazine, and cites Edmund Wilson's damnation of the prose of Joseph E. Davies in Mission to Moscow.
In his biography of Orwell, Michael Shelden called the article "his most important essay on style", while Bernard Crick made no reference to the work at all in his original biography, reserving his praise for Orwell's essays in Polemic, which cover a similar political theme. John Rodden asserts, given that much of Orwell's work was polemical, that he sometimes violated these rules and Orwell himself concedes that if you look back through his essay, "for certain you will find that I have again and again committed the very faults I am protesting against", Rodden also says that Terry Eagleton had praised the essay's demystification of political language but later became disenchanted with Orwell.
Linguist Geoffrey Pullum—despite being an admirer of Orwell's writing—criticised the essay for "its insane and unfollowable insistence that good writing must avoid all phrases and word uses that are familiar."  Orwell's admonition to avoid using the passive voice has also been criticised, Merriam-Webster's Dictionary of English Usage refers to three statistical studies of passive versus active sentences in various periodicals, stating: "the highest incidence of passive constructions was 13 percent. Orwell runs to a little over 20 percent in "Politics and the English Language". Clearly he found the construction useful in spite of his advice to avoid it as much as possible".
Introductory writing courses frequently cite this essay. A 1999 study found that the essay was reprinted 118 times in 325 editions of 58 readers published between 1946 and 1996 that were intended for use in college-level composition courses.
An article from 1981, Carl Freedman's Writing Ideology, and Politics: Orwell's 'Politics and the English Language' and English Composition, set in motion a "wide variety of critiques, reconsiderations, and outright attacks against the plain style" that is argued for in Orwell's essay. The main issue that most critics[weasel words] found with Orwell's argument for simple language is "his simplistic faith about thought and language existing in a dialectical relation with one another; others quickly cut to the chase by insisting that politics, rightly considered, meant the insertion of an undercutting whose before every value word the hegemony holds dear." These critics also began to question Orwell for his argument of the absoluteness of the English language, and really question whose values and truths were being represented through the language. While there are many scholars who defend Orwell's arguments in "Politics and the English Language", there are also those who see many issues with the essay. In Kogan's "In Celebration of George Orwell on the Fiftieth Anniversary of 'Politics and the English Language'" issues arising from Orwell's arguments are discussed.
Orwell's writings on the English language have had a large impact on classrooms, journalism, and other writing. In Trail's "Teaching Argument and the Rhetoric of Orwell's 'Politics and the English Language'" it is said that "A large part of Orwell's rhetorical approach consists of attempting at every opportunity to acquire reader participation, to involve the reader as an active and engaged consumer of the essay. Popular journalism is full of what may be the inheritance of Orwell's reader involvement devices". Haltom and Ostrom's work, Teaching George Orwell in Karl Rove's World: 'Politics and the English Language' in the 21st Century Classroom, discusses how following of Orwell's six rules of English writing and speaking can have a place in the high school and university setting.
Connection to other works
Orwell's preoccupation with language as a theme can be seen in protagonist Gordon Comstock's dislike of advertising slogans in Keep the Aspidistra Flying, an early work of his. This preoccupation is also visible in Homage to Catalonia, and continued as an underlying theme of Orwell's work for the years after World War II.
The themes in "Politics and the English Language" anticipate Orwell's development of Newspeak in Nineteen Eighty-Four. One analyst, Michael Shelden, calls Newspeak "the perfect language for a society of bad writers ... because it reduces the number of choices available to them." Shelden says that Newspeak first corrupts writers morally, then politically, "since it allows writers to cheat themselves and their readers with ready-made prose."
- ^Shelden 1991, p. 393
- ^Goodman, Paul (July 1945). "The Political Meaning of Some Recent Revisions of Freud". politics: 197–203.
- ^Shelden 1991, p. 56
- ^W J H Christie St. Cyprian's Days, Blackwood's Magazine May 1971
- ^Pearce, Robert (August 1992). "Truth and Falsehood: Orwell's Prep School Woes". The Review of English Studies, New Series. 43 (171).
- ^Hammond 1982, p. 218
- ^George Orwell bibliography
- ^ abcTaylor 2003, p. 376
- ^I Belong to the Left, p.431
- ^ abcShelden 1991, p. 62
- ^Crick, Bernard (1980). George Orwell: A Life. Secker & Warburg.
- ^Rodden 1989, p. 40
- ^Quoted in Rodden 1989, p. 379
- ^"A load of old Orwellian cobblers from Fisk". Geoffrey Pullum - Language Log. Retrieved 7 September 2014.
- ^Dictionary of English Usage p. 720. Merriam-Webster.
- ^Rodden 1989, p. 296
- ^Bloom, L. Z. (1999). "The Essay Canon"(PDF). College English. 61 (4): 401–430. doi:10.2307/378920. Retrieved 18 January 2012.
- ^Pinsker 1997
- ^Pinsker 1997
- ^Trail, George (1995). "Teaching Argument and the Rhetoric of Orwell's "Politics and the English Language"". College English. 57 (5).
- ^Haltom, William; Hans Ostrom (2009). "Teaching George Orwell in Karl Rove's World: 'Politics and the English Language' in the 21st Century Classroom". Western Political Science Association.
- ^Hammond 1982, pp. 218–21 9
- Haltom, William and Hans Ostrom. (2009). Teaching George Orwell in Karl Rove's World: 'Politics and the English Language' in the 21st Century Classroom. Western Political Science Association.
- Hammond, J.R. (1982). A George Orwell Companion. New York: St. Martin's Press. ISBN 0-312-32452-9.
- Orwell, George (2006). Politics and the English Language. Peterborough: Broadview Press.
- Pinsker, Sanford (1997). "Musing About Orwell's 'Politics and the English Language'—50 Years Later". Virginia Quarterly Review (57). Retrieved 3 August 2016.
- Rodden, John (1989). The Politics of Literary Reputation: The Making and Claiming of 'St. George' Orwell. New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-195-03954-8.
- Shelden, Michael (1991). Orwell: The Authorized Biography. New York: HarperCollins. p. 393. ISBN 0-060-16709-2.
- Taylor, D.J. (2003). Orwell: A Life. New York: Henry Holt and Company. ISBN 0-8050-7473-2.
- Trail, George (1995). Teaching Argument and the Rhetoric of Orwell's "Politics and the English Language. College English.
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