Shooting an Elephant - Study Guide Chapter 6 Summary & Analysis

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Although Orwell, with its critics, shares the belief that the English language is in a "bad way," it is also his belief that the malady is reversible. In order to have a role in this "cure," Orwell has decided to inject some clear thinking into the process and thereby alert his readers of fundamental things they can do that, perhaps, can help halt the decline.

To this end, he presents five different examples of poor English. All of these examples share a "staleness of imagery" and "a lack of precision." With these flaws, language's hopeful concreteness melts into a vague abstractness thereby obviating the natural clarity inherent in good exposition. With this unfortunate vagueness, prose passages are formed of blocks of poorly thought-out phrases instead of carefully chosen words. The results are bound together like "a prefabricate hen-house...

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This section contains 648 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Shooting an Elephant Study Guide
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Short Stories for Students
Shooting an Elephant from Short Stories for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.