Rereading Nineteen Eighty Four – 5

In Chapter Five, Winston’s work place is revealed, especially the horrible canteen where repulsive ‘food’ is served.  

Entering, he is accosted by his ‘friend’ (term used loosely),  Syme who wants to talk of yesterday’s hanging and other such topics, when Winston diverts him to speaking of his job;  ‘Newspeak’.

“You think… our chief job is inventing new words. But not a bit of it! We’re destroying words — scores of them, hundreds of them, every day. We’re cutting the language down to the bone.”

By removing words, the ability to think and reason will be truncated.

Syme explains;

 “Take “good”, for instance. If you have a word like “good”, what need is there for a word like “bad”? “Ungood” will do just as well — better, because it’s an exact opposite, which the other is not. Or again, if you want a stronger version of “good”, what sense is there in having a whole string of vague useless words like “excellent” and “splendid” and all the rest of them? “Plusgood” covers the meaning, or “doubleplusgood” if you want something stronger still. Of course we use those forms already. but in the final version of Newspeak there’ll be nothing else…”

And to hammer it home, Syme says;

‘Don’t you see that the whole aim of Newspeak is to narrow the range of thought? In the end we shall make thoughtcrime literally impossible, because there will be no words in which to express it. Every concept that can ever be needed, will be expressed by exactly one word, with its meaning rigidly defined and all its subsidiary meanings rubbed out and forgotten.”

This has proven to be fact.


What do you think?


Written by jaylar

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