Nineteen Eighty-Four vs. 1984: The Strength and Vulnerability of Language
“…he did not know with any certainty that this was 1984” (7).
This passage does more than just establish Winston’s own uncertainty about the date, it also highlights the importance of language in the story. The date that Winston tries to pin down, significantly, is written out in numbers, but the title of the book is spelled out. This seems like a minor difference, however, it is incredibly important, and sets the tone for a book that hinges on the interplay of words and truth. While 1984 the number is a date, a fact that can only be true or false, nothing in between, nineteen eighty-four the phrase is meant to describe the society that Winston lives in. Nineteen eighty-four is flexible, and as such can be true in a symbolic sense even when the more concrete form, 1984, is doubtful at best. This is because the number has only one meaning, while the word can have many, and can have meanings that change with time.
“it was even possible, at moments, to switch one’s hatred this way or that” (15).
What Winston has hit upon, in this thought, is the idea that passion, when let loose, can just as easily be turned one was as another. Although this freedom in the Two Minute Hate is restrained, confined to those two minutes and thus still under the control of the Party, Winston is able to find that same passion outside of the designated hate, and he does so through language, by writing in his diary. Just like the Hate, Winston is able to use language, a tool that the Party attempts to control, and turn it against them. He finds a truth in his memories, and a way to express it through his writing.
"Don't you see that the whole aim of Newspeak is to narrow the range of thought?" (52).
The very necessity of something like Newspeak indicates the power of language. By saying that he is trying to suppress the ability to express thoughts of rebellion, Syme unintentionally confirms that language, as it is at that time, does hold the power of revolution. While the Party can rewrite history, can fabricate truth, language provides a unique difficulty because it has no default, absolute truth. Language is ever shifting and ever evolving, and as such is something still outside the full grasp of the Party, a way to access truth through one’s own definitions. The Principals of Newspeak lays out the changes to language that the Party seeks to enforce, all of which are directed at suppressing individuality and thoughts of action or rebellion. Though these descriptions are chilling, they also indicate that all of these traits of language, its ability to motivate action and capture individuality, are direct threats to the Party’s power.
“the worst thing in the world”(293).
When O’Brian takes Winston into room 101, he never does any actual physical harm. Instead, he lets the threat of harm, the intonation of Winston’s nightmares, do the work for him. Just as the strength of language is its ability to become whatever the speaker needs it to be, shifting meaning through new combinations and definitions, so too does O’Brian use the flexibility of language to communicate fear in a way that any physical damage never could. The worst thing in the world means something different to everyone, and by calling it such, the Party makes Room 101 a threat far larger than any singular threat could ever be.
“if thought corrupts language, language can also corrupt thought.” (Politics and the English Language).(6)
Throughout Nineteen Eighty-Four, language serves as a threat and a weapon, as a mechanism of control and a path to truth. It is not meant to be one or the other solely, rather, it is meant to be seen as something of incalculable importance, and a power that can be used for any means, good or bad, in the right hands. It can be used to manipulate just as well as it can be used to reveal. However, the key point of the story is that language is a key element of success, no matter what one defines success to be. It is a form of communication that holds vast power, to awaken memories and to inspire masses, with fear or with boldness.
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“Even though my family moved to the United States a decade ago, I feel my belonging to China and its traditions.”
It can be a line from another cultural identity essay. It is similar to the reflective paper. If you have never faced a need to write this type of academic assignment, a cultural identity essay example and some useful tips discussed in this article will help.
After reading this informative post, if you still feel like having no idea how to organize your homework assignment on a specific topic, contact professional online writers and editors to lend a helping hand.
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Cultural Identity Essay: Definition & Goals
Define the term before writing the paper. A cultural identity essay is a type of creative or academic writing that expresses the feeling of belonging to a particular culture attributed to the growing up and becoming a separate person with its personality. It provides a human with the sense of identification with the certain nationality, customs, and traditions. An essay about cultural identity should focus on several elements:
An essay of this type has a structure similar to other common types of academic essays. The difference is in the topic. Unlike the basic types of academic assignments such as argumentative or persuasive essays, a student should use the 1st person when writing. A teacher will not ask for any sources in most cases – the paper is about describing personal experience, feelings, emotions, skills, and knowledge of the student. No extra research is required unless a student lacks specific skills like writing or formatting.
The format is MLA in most cases because an essay about cultural identity is the part of English Language & Literature class, which follows the formatting guidelines offered by The Modern Language Association.
A student may include some in-text citations to illustrate his native land. A teacher will appreciate the usage of any sources of famous writers describing the culture & traditions of the discussed land. However, including any citations along with references is optional.
Cultural Essay: Example of Ideas to Discuss
The topic of assignment may seem narrow. In fact, there are 5 things a student can choose from when working on an essay on cultural identity:
- A real-life experience
- The product of author’s imagination
- A location connected to the author’s memories or specific object
- An influential figure
- A place that matters
- A most memorable tradition
A student can describe how he/she gained community appreciation after running some campaign aimed to protect the rights of rare local animals. Another good idea is to share experience after visiting a national holiday. You can describe a location where you have learned everything about the domestic dishes including the ways to cook them and lay the table. Talking about something a person used to fail is a good idea. The worst experience may turn out the most valuable life lesson if the writer presents it in a positive light. One more nice idea is to describe the important person from the native land who has shown the importance of obeying customs & traditions of the native land.
Minor facts such as outdoor activities a writer were involved in being little child matter in the cultural identity essay. The thought process behind developing a powerful paper of this type is called a cultural identity theory, which means identifying one with the group of humans he/she used to grow with.
After selecting the topic and creating an outline, come up with a title.
GIVE ME CULTURAL IDENTITY ESSAY
How to Start an Essay on Cultural Identity
To begin with, select a good topic for an essay. Experts recommend choosing a topic, which is conversant with to help with following the content and presenting the ideas in a clear manner. If the teacher tells to pretend a student is someone else and write the story based on the life of another person of a different nationality, the research will come in handy. In other situations, skip the research step.
“Organize the ideas after deciding on the topic. Start with the brainstorming with other students and parents – the aged people possess the widest knowledge of customs & traditions. Write down the most interesting ideas on a separate paper. After introducing the topic to the target audience, finish the introduction with the powerful thesis statement, which is the main argument of the whole writing.
A thesis statement can be broad in the cultural identity essay example. Example:
“Cultural identity determines every new aspect of an individual inwards and outwards.”
The body should focus on exploring the meaning of this thesis.”
Monica Brainy, an academic writer at WriteMyPaper4Me
Developing Body Paragraphs
Make it a standard 5-paragraph essay. While some of the paragraphs can be lengthy, others can be short – ensure switching between the sentences of different size to make it easier to read. The paragraphs should be of the near the same length. A planning stage which results in the essay outline will help to follow the logic and include every necessary thought retrieved during the process of brainstorming. Keep in mind the following:
- Start each body paragraph with a cohesive argument
- Provide some evidence based on real-life examples or sources
- Connect the ideas into one whole using transitions
Did you get stuck in the middle of the writing process? Learn what mistakes to avoid in essay writing here.
Cultural Identity Essay Example Extract
“I was born in rural California, but my family moved to New York City before I reached the age of 10. My mother is 100% Albanian and comes from a Mormon family that identifies powerfully with the culture and traditions of Albania – a land, which is full of mystery and secrets to the US citizens. My dad is a British guy, who was adopted by the poor American family. Our family lived in a nice middle-sized private house in a suburb of Los Angeles. I am the single child in a family, but I wish I had some brothers or sisters as I used to feel lonely until the age of 7. While my dad is atheist despite most of the British people obey Orthodox religion, my mother is 100% Mormon, and she raised me following the strict rules and mal principles.”
Thanks to the essay example, a student may realize how to handle a paper of this type. From one side, every student can describe his childhood. Form the other side; it is not that easy to focus on the main problem. If you wish someone to write a brilliant essay about cultural identity, reach a professional academic writing service offered by the people of different nations who know everything about writing a good reflection paper for your English Composition class.