Newspeak is a name given to the forecoming language of the totalitarian society portrayed in the novel Nineteen Eighty-Four. The language itself is a supposed creation by Big Brother, the fictitious political figure made up by the Inner Party – the government of Oceania, INGSOC. The language of Newspeak is the product of diminishing and reducing of words thought unnecessary in the existing language – the same as Modern English – by the government, resulting in a smaller vocabulary. This way the totalitarian leaders of Oceania, the Inner Party, can control the knowledge of the people in the society, Outer Party and the Proletarians, to wipe out all heretical thought by destroying unorthodox words and meanings. Once the language of Newspeak replaces the existing speech of Oceania, the Inner Party could spread propaganda without any opposition capable of expressing their feelings. In this way, the use of Newspeak will ultimately lead to the perfect society according to the philosophy of the Party.
The philosophy the Party follows is to hold and maintain power over the nation, unlike earlier governments that have fallen against revolts and revolutions; to make their power over the lower classes of the hierarchy – Outer Party and the Proletarians – permeant. To do this, the Party follows their slogans of, ‘War is Peace’, ’Freedom is Slavery’ and Ignorance is Strength’, each one a summary of the blueprint of the Party’s workings. The first slogan, ‘War is Peace’, can be narrowed down to a meaning that, while there is war being fought across the country, the Outer Party and the Proletarians will be too contempt in defending themselves that their attentions will not turn against the Inner Party – the rulers. The second, ‘Freedom is Slavery’, means that the freedom of the Inner Party’s high ground leads to slavery within the governing system whereby they have to constantly make decisions and choices of ruling and control over lower members of the hierarchy. The last slogan is the most important as far is Newspeak is concerned in that Newspeak is directly related to it. It means that by keeping the lower classes of Oceania ignorant of what is going on around themselves and by controlling how much and what these people get to know, the lower classes are made easier to control and inturn the Party is strengthened. The Inner Party could spread any form of propaganda or conspiracies without any resistance of non-believers. With the use of Newspeak, the Party would be greatly strengthened in that Newspeak is designed to narrow the possibility of human thought. By cutting out all forms of words and meanings that describes a revolt for example, anyone only knowing Newspeak will be ignorant to even the thought of rebelling.
‘Thoughcrime’, a word in Newspeak meaning any thoughts by a person evolving plans or actions that are unorthodox, with the adoption of Newspeak, will be, “…literally impossible, because there will be no words in which to express it.”(p55, ln14). “Orthodoxy means not thinking – not needing to think. Orthodoxy is unconsciousness.”(p56, ln15). Indeed, in the novel, there is no war going on, but a false war is created existing only in the mind, by the Party in accordance of the first slogan. The false war will never be uncovered because the use of Newspeak will limit even the thought of a false war. The way the Inner Party keeps its subordinates happy and loyal is by creating propagandrous false statistic of achievements in the country. Again this will never be uncovered because of the limitations Newspeak puts on one’s thoughts. In this way, through the help of Newspeak, propaganda can be spread with the most monovalent ease.
In conclusion, “We’re getting language into its final shape – the shape it’s going to have when nobody speaks anything else…”(Topic Sheep, 1), and when this happens, the Party will have reached their ultimate goal of control. Propaganda will be spreadable across boundless plains through every desire of the Party. The most doubleplusgood for the Party, no one will be able to do anything about it because no one will be able to think anything of it.