Relation Between Language Power And Dehumanization English Literature Essay

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There are implications of limited health care, as Winston's varicose ulcer on his right ankle remains treated throughout. Meanwhile Winston talks of the cheap quality of the "vicory" cigarettes, the only cigarettes available. The fact that the only attainable alcohol,is gin, and the inclusion of food rationing, also resembles an air of restriction, through a dehumanizing lack of variety.

Language plays a vital part in this process of repression, as it is language, through propaganda that enforces it. For example, the telescreen uses manipulative language, to subliminally brainwash people during the "two minutes hate". Though the false representation of Goldstein and his "rapid polysyllabic speech", as he delivers "his usual venemous attack upon the doctrines of the Party - an attack so exaggerated and perverse that a child should have been able to see through it, and yet just plausible enough to fill one with an alarmed feeling". (ch1) The party uses hateful language to manipulate them into a frenzy, to a point where they advocate against Goldstein's promotion of "feedom of speech, freedom of the Press, freedom of assembly, freedom of thought". To enforce this manipulative repression, further restriction shows that it is illegal for the telescreen to be switched off, even inner party members are only allowed to switch it off for half an hour at a time. Therefore manipulative language empowers Big Brother, so that he can dehumanize the non-proles of Oceana.

The telescreen is also used as a tool for repression through recording people's spoken language and monitoring their lingual thoughts. Winston notes, ""It was terribly dangerous to let your thoughts wander when you were in any public place or within range of a telescreen" through the fear of commiting "face crime", if an unfavourable expression appeared on a person's face, whilst in front of the telescreen.

This is an example of how language itself is repressed, for the benefit of the party. With no freedom of expression, and a sense of paranoia surrounding the use of language, Big Brother is not under threat. The giant "big brother is watching you", posters, plastered throughout Oceana, enforce this empowerment through paranoia, that the government holds over Oceana. The monitoring of language, propaganda posters, and telescreens prevents revolution, and therefore language becomes repressed as a result.

Along with the fear of commiting crimes through spoken language, there is fear surrounding freedom of language in thought. The "thought police", remain a terrifying organization for the residents of Oceana, with the danger of torture and imprisonment if their language, through their thoughts, consist of an anti-party stance.

The fact that they "watched everybody all the time", installs a sense of paranoia, that makes people mentally restrict their freedom of language, and vocabulary, in order to avoid being targeted by the thought police.

To help society keep repressed, and to discourage against the free use of language, there is the invention of Newspeak. As the official language of Oceana, it concentrates upon a narrowing vocabulary, eliminating words concerning freedom and rebellion. As Syme muses "Don't you see that the whole aim of Newspeak is to narrow the range of thought?", this directly relates to power. The minimising of language vocabulary, maximises power, with the hope that if one cannot describe freedom, and rebelling against the party, then they prevent themselves from wanting it, or thinking about it.

As part of Newspeak, we are introduced to the notion of "Doublethink", a process "of holding two contradictory beliefs in one's mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them". (ch3) This method is a manipulative way of confusing a person's

perception of concepts such as freedom. The party uses this to their advantage as part of their slogan, "freedom is slavery". This subliminal brainwashing through contradictive similes confuses the inhabitants into thinking that the opposites are true.

The method of doublethink, is used not only in the party's slogan's but is used as a tool to boost ignorance, and as a result weakens the chance of big brother getting overthrown. For example, through reporting false events such as how Oceana had always been war with Eastasia, boosts patriotism, whilst forcing inhabitants into ignorance. Through the restriction of truth in language, and spreading of false information, Oceana's inhabitants are dehumanized. This solidifies the parties power as noone challenges these false reports, as they believe that "ignorance is truth".

Although Winston is part of the party himself, he is still repressed by them. The ironic ministry of truth where he works, is representative of a tolertarian power gone mad.

Again, language through lies is used to test and push the ignorance of the people. Winston notes how he has to destroy parts of the past, to the point that history is changed "in a continuous process of alteration"(ch4). Meanwhile the simple fiddling of statistics, such as the covering up of chocolate ration decreasing from 30 grams to 20 grams, shows how powerful the manipulative newspeak and doublethink is. Winston notes there were "demonstrations to thank Big Brother for raising the chocolate ration to twenty grams a week". "only yesterday, he reflected, it had been announced that the ration was to be reduced to twenty grams a week. Was it possible that they could swallow that, after only twenty-four hours? Yes, they swallowed it."

The ministry of "plenty", alas, controlled shortages. Even though people are getting less food and supplies than ever, Winston becomes part of the lingual manipulation process which makes them thank big brother for what they have.

As general perceptions are warped by the party through language, so is the act of love.

Initial paranoia, which evolves into anger and an urge to seek out anyone who is against the party, is inflicted upon the children of Oceana from an early age. Through this they are dehumanized, as they become incapable of loving their parents and are more than willing, to turn against them, as junior spies. An example of this is when we see Parson's turned in to the party by his children.

Through the language, of the sternly named "anti sex league", the party uses it's power to enforce sexual repression and channel it into anger against the parties enemies. Through anti-sex language propaganda, the party gains power, yet dehumanizes humans, preventing them from a natural activity. This repression of sex even warps the resistant mind of Winston, as he says to Julia, the more men she has been with, the more that he loves her. Here, even though rebellion against the party, his idea of love is ruined.

Literature itself is restricted, in fear that it's language will promote revolutionary thoughts. One man leaves the word "God", in a translation of a Rudyard Kipling poem, and is put in prison as a result, which shows the tension of how restriction of language is essential to power. Along with food, sex, alcohol and cigarettes, literature is seen as a threat. The fact that Winston wakes up from a dream with "Shakeapeare" on his lips, emphasises this restriction, as he expresses his yearning for culture and literature.

The restriction of books is noted in 1984, as we see that no one is reading.

Syme note that by 2050, "Chaucer, Shakespeare, Milton, Byron -- they'll exist only in Newspeak versions, not merely changed into something different, but actually changed into something contradictory of what they used to be", establishing the parties aim to destroy and manipulate language in literature for their own needs.

The fact that Winston feels extremely guilty, when he writes in a diary (writing is not permitted), and even worse, writing words against the party, which makes him contemplate suicide, shows the power the party has over him. This shows how the restriction of language, through taking away the freedom to write, is dehumanizing, as it prevents the expression of feeling.


The only people free from the party are the proles. They are the only residents who have free expression of words, however, they are also dehumanized themselves, through their lack of civilisation and power.

Part 2

Whilst language is changed due to a totalitarian element concerning dehumanization in 1984, the language in Naipul's "one out of many", represents the struggle between power and dehumanization, under the context of class and social hierarchy.

I am going to explore these links through observing the dialogue and attitude of the characters in the text, alongside the tone of the narrator.

There is a notable link that language has with power, when it comes to social hierarchy. Someone could become "dehumanized", the further they move down the social ladder. The language exchanged between the narrator, Santosh, and the characters in the extract is indicative of this. Santosh speaks of how he relied on the importance of his employer, Sahib, for his own "respect and security", and their relationship begins at a seemingly equal level. Sahib warns Santosh that "Washington is not Bombay", and that he should be aware of the exchange rate between rupee and dollar. However as soon as they arrive in Washington, the social gap between both the characters widens. Sahib first speaks down to Santosh, saying "he is only a domestic", and in front of the officials, he pretends to be horrified at Santosh's natural behaviour on the plane, "I cannot understand why your behaviour has already gone so much out of character". Through talking down to Santosh, Sahib commands social power and begins to dehumanize him in front of other people, in order to command respect.

When it comes to money, Sahib manipulates Santosh through choosing his words carefully in offering him a raise. The ignorant Sahib, thinks that the raise, and fortnights pay in advance, is more than generous, and like the inhabitants of Oceana over the chocolate ration, is manipulated into being thankful for this. When santosh realises the money isn't enough to live off, he wants to leave. However Sahib uses strong language to threaten him "if I send you back now, you will have to work for six or seven years without salary to pay me back". In this way Sahib gains power. Santosh observes that his freedom has been taken away, "I understood. I was a prisoner", as he realises the context of the verbal threat dehumanizes him, and makes him almost a slave to Sahib.

Of course, Sahib feels himself, dehumanized in the extract, by the Americans.

When Santosh has to sleep in a cupboard, he feels that he shouldn't be treated that way and takes it personally, assuming that the government had assigned Santosh this room, just because they are Indian. A paranoid Sahib claims "some enemy in the government has done this to me", "they think that we all live in cupboards in Bombay". Sahib also feels dehumanized when one of his guests comments how he brought back an ancient stone head from India, tipping the tour guide to keep quiet. Offensively, the guest says, " if I had a bottle of whisky he would have pulled down the whole temple for me".

Santosh find's comfort in language through talking as says he "told stories and smoked", with his friends in Bombay. The tailor warns Santosh that Americans won't won't "sit and talk with you in the evenings", which is true, as he becomes a recluse when he moves to Washington, staying in the apartment and watching t.v. This removal of social interaction through language dehumanizes Santosh as racial and foreign language barriers encourage this. To further this isolation, Santosh is talked down to by a number of people, from the flight attendant who "spoke roughly" to him, to the woman in the café "can't you read? We don't serve hippies or bare feet here".

The Hubshi girl teaches Santosh English me black and beautiful" then calls policeman a "pig", using Santosh's naivity to make an impression on him through power of language. Powering him to have prejudices against the police and dehumanize them.

Interestingly we see that the power of language and manipulates Santosh into becoming vain. At the beginning, despite being look own upon by the air hostess, he "didn't care what the girl said or did", after a series of incidents where people use language to make him inferior, he begins to dress better and became "choked with shame" at his old ways. The snobbish language made him now wear shoes. The television, in a vaguely similar fashion to the telescreens in 1984, has used language and imagery to manipulate him into how to behave in society. He notes "I became obsessed with my appearance" and began comparing himself with actors on t.v.

Interestingly, during Santosh's predicament, concerning how to get his green card, he commits the most dehumnizing act in the whole extract. Through the green card he gains power, however to gain this power he has to use language to falsely tell the Hubshi girl that he likes her and wants to marry her. This is not only dehumanizing for him, having to marry and live with a woman he doesn't like, but dehumanizing for her, as he does not love her.

But then talks down "I don't see how you will manage in Washington"

"foreign exchange santosh! Foreign exchange!"

Boss again speaks down to him when he says in front of the officials

Threat- "you don't only represent your country, you represent me"

Officials-"does he always travel with his condiments"- not talking to him directly- conveys an air of dehumanization.

Santosh looks down on the hubshi at first- language is snobby, and dehumaizes them "in our country we frankly do not care for the hubshi" but then uses language to feel emphathy for them

"even in the mornings the men were drunk"

Santosh" they can just look at me and see I am dirt"

Sahibs guests are offensive "if I had a bottle of whisky he would have pulled down the whole temple for me"- dehumanizing Indians. "they are malicious people".

Power of hubshi- burning city down

Priyas attitude "if you cant beat them, join them. I joined them. They are still beating me"

When moves in with priya "I felt I was earning my freedom"

Power of green card- immigrants "they were always about to get green cards, or they had been cheated out of green cards"

Priya and santhosh equal "the American way, man to man"

"I was good looking; I had lost my looks. I was a free man; I had lost my freedom"

Power of haggling- language- "I couldn't stay on for less than a hundred and twenty five"- santosh now has power.

I have made some corrections in the second bit, but gave up because there are so many little ones, such as grammar and spelling. Also overuse of the name Santosh, the word dehumanizing and a tendency to repeat. However it really just needs tidying up a bit and making a bit more coherent as in the first half.

If you wrote the first half, completely, yourself, I would say it was one of the best pieces you have written. I asked if you had written it, because I was shocked that there were hardly any mistakes in it and it appeared balanced and coherent.