May 26th, 2012, 03:47 am
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Join Date: Oct 8th, 2006
| | Re: Politics and the English Language
1. This is based on a quote from Goethe : "One must be either the anvil or the hammer" - ie either the passive person who gets what is given, or the person who takes action and controls their own destiny. So the implication is that it's good to be the "hammer" and bad to be the "anvil". However, as Orwell points out, the metaphor is inaccurate - in real life it's the anvil which breaks the hammer, not vice versa.
2. Yes, "by means of" could just be replaced by "by".