The Broadview Reader

Essay by katib_1980 October 2010

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The Broadview Reader


The Broadview Reader is a collection of selective essays on a variety of themes that intrigue ones mind. One such theme in the compilation is 'Language and Communication' which pulls on the reader's rationality while emphasizing the outcome of language manipulation. In particular two essays stand out, George Orwell's Politics and the English Language and Russell Baker's 'Little Red Riding Hood Revisited.' In essence both pieces demonstrate how language can be contorted and distorted to twist the meaning of the simplest of things.

While Orwell takes a direct style in listing down the number of problems with the use of language in modern times, Baker uses a subliminal method. Even with the given differences in the approach to the topic, their work still demonstrates the same basic theme. Orwell's critique of the use of the English language goes hand in hand with Bakers satire on the same subject.

There are several points of arguments made by Orwell that are reflected in the writing style of Baker.

Use of Language

Both writers through their essays show us that the use of language can change the meaning, perception and reception of a piece. Language has the power to inform the reader or confuse him. There are two ways in which a modern writer can completely make a mess out of a piece of writing. He can either use extremely complicated terminology in hopes of giving his piece depth and value but only end up confusing his reader, or he can purposely play with his words to 'slant' the meaning of the text to influence the reader.

The confused writer

Both writers show that at times when composing an essay or an article, the author in trying to sound sophisticated and intelligent actually ends up with the opposite...