Language of Oppression in George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty Four and Festus Iyayi’s Heroes

K.B.C. ASHIPU, James Otoburu Okpiliya


The use of language creates different impacts on the individual and society and therefore, elicits different reactions. Throughout generations, human beings, have always exercised one form of power or another over other human beings resulting to man’s inhumanity to man. Most times this inhuman treatment is exercised through the oppressive use of language.  This paper examines the decadence in the use of language to oppress other human beings as illustrated in George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty Four and Festus Iyayi’s Heroes respectively. The paper examines the extent to which the language of oppression is possibly evident in these works. The works selected for study will be critically examined so as to ascertain the extent of the psychological effect on the individual and society arising from the use of the language of oppression.  The paper belongs to an area of study which attempts to establish a relationship between literature and stylistic discourse. The paper concludes that the oppressor’s ability to effectively convey his oppressive tendencies depends on his choice of words. Stylistically, language has effect on the oppressed; it intimidates and suppresses them to do the will of their oppressors and hence coerced them to carry out only the will of their oppressors.

Key words: oppression, oppressor, language, stylistics, discourse,dictatorship,totalitarianism, victimisation, dehumanisation

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ISSN (Paper)2224-5766 ISSN (Online)2225-0484

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