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What ''Orwellian'' really means

The video explores the significance of the term "Orwellian" and its connection to George Orwell's novel "1984.”

vendredi 23 juin, Il y a 6 mois
 7 min

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Orwell's work depicts a society under a totalitarian government, conveying the themes of tyranny, propaganda, and the manipulation of language. Orwell warned about the dangers of authoritarianism and the proliferation of ideologies, emphasizing the role of language in shaping thoughts and opinions.

The novel's government controls actions and speech, employing surveillance, propaganda, doublespeak, and the elimination of words to undermine critical thinking. Orwell highlights the psychological impact of cognitive dissonance and the violation of privacy. He cautions that these abuses of power can occur even in democratic societies. Merely using "authoritarian" as a synonym for “Orwellian” oversimplifies Orwell's message.

Orwell's essay, “Politics and the English Language,” addresses the deceptive use of language, euphemisms, and the influence of advertising and ready-made phrases. The video emphasizes the importance of language in politics and society, urging the protection of clear communication and critical thinking as a defense against oppressive forces.

Source: TEDEd

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