Orwellian challenge of Showing, not Telling !

Eric Arthur Blair (1903-1950), whose pen name was George Orwell, wrote two dystopian classics, Nineteen Eighty-Four and Animal Farm. These books are so impactful, than the author’s name has actually become a true English adjective . . .

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Orwell’s goal is “the scrapping of every word or idiom which has outworn its usefulness. It has nothing to do with correct grammar and syntax, which are of no importance so long as one makes one’s meaning clear, or with the avoidance of Americanisms, or with having what is called a ‘good prose style.’”

Writers of fiction will enjoy the way Orwell explains the challenge of “showing, not telling.”

1. Never use a metaphor, simile, or other figure of speech which you are used to seeing in print.

2. Never use a long word where a short one will do.

3. If it is possible to cut a word out, always cut it out.

4. Never use the passive where you can use the active.

5. Never use a foreign phrase, a scientific word, or a jargon word if you can think of an everyday English equivalent.

6. Break any of these rules sooner than say anything outright barbarous.

These rules sound elementary, and so they are, but they demand a deep change of attitude in anyone who has grown used to writing in the style now fashionable.

1984 – Ministry of Truth’s slogans

Orwell-1984-Propaganda

Read a deeper article about Orwellian challenge in this blog mereinlking

1984 film adaptation by MICHAEL RADFORD

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