Language and Communication

1984

Theme

Decreasing language may change the way people communicate but not always the way people feel. In the story the party was trying to eliminate language, trying to decrease the way people think. Over time this may work out well in the favor of the party but as of now, people already know the language and some can even remember a time before the war. Winston for example still has a strong mind that thinks beyond all the others and he ends up gaining emotions for a woman that are against the rules. Even though the author dose not specifically tell us how other people think, if Winston thinks the way he does, other people do to. So by decreasing language, people are still going to feel emotions, even without communication.

Quotes

"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 to express 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." (1.5.23)


This quote is true in a way. Yes words will be cutout of the dictionary but are they really cutout of language? And is changing language really going to banish thoughtcrime? Just because words are being narrowed and people are not going to use them dose not necessarily mean that people wont think them in their heads. People will be trained not to use certain words but you cannot train someone to not put those words in their head. A humans mind and emotions are something that can not be changed just by slowly removing words from existence.


"By 2050, earlier, probably - all real knowledge of Oldspeak will have disappeared The whole literature of the past will have been destroyed." (1.5.30)


Soon, as generations pass, people will not know what Oldspeak is. I believe that is a true statement. On the the other hand you don't need Oldspeak to feel emotions or to think to yourself. Just like in the story, If a young man and a young woman meet and fall in love in 2050, they will still have feelings for each other, feelings that would be considered a thoughtcrime. Even though there are not words to express the way the feel they will still feel it.