Analyzing an Essay


In this task, you will read George Orwell’s Politics and the English Language. You will write your reactions to the parts of the essay that cite rules for writing or state methods for preventing the decline of the English language.

Part A

Choose one point from Orwell’s essay “Politics and the English Language” with which you agree and one point with which you disagree. Include reasons for your arguments.

Part B

George Orwell gives examples of bad writing in the essay “Politics and the English Language.” Choose two examples from the essay and discuss how you feel about the quality of writing. Do you think Orwell’s criticism is valid? What other comments would you make about his examples? Do you think people write in similar ways now, and if so, is that a problem?

Part C

Language changes with time and context. What is your opinion about what constitutes good or bad usage? Is it necessary for speakers or writers to follow a particular standard of correctness? Do such standards vary with the audience and the situation?

Do you think an individual or a group of individuals can actually maintain a certain quality of language and usage? If your answer is yes, state how these rules can be applied effectively. If your answer is no, then state the reasons why such control should not be exercised. Write a short essay to state your position on these questions.