Use of Vulgar Language in Fiction

As we are advancing in time, the nature of the language of fiction is changing. To make it sound real, novelists and story writers are using the words that are actually used in our lives. That seems quite all right to an extent, but only to an extent. Our fiction is supposed to reflect our lives as they are really lived. The values, the culture, and the language of fiction should sound realistic. But we don’t need to show diarrhea in a visible form in our fictional writing. Unfortunately, however, to please the masses and to help publishers sell their books writers are being forced to accept a great deal of vulgar language in fiction. Writers and publishers have begun to associate such language with some kind of thrill.

            It is a vicious circle. Initially, it was only the vulgar lot, the uneducated, who used street language. Publishers accepted that from vulgar characters in fiction in order to allow realism to a certain degree. When our writers showed us the reality of the vulgar lot, they also exposed the more refined sections to such expressiveness. Such language can seem appealing in the moment to everyone; even to children. Our fiction, then led to our films using the same kind of language; without it, the films began to seem insipid. Thus the language of society also experienced a change. Authors learn from the streets and readers learn from the author. After this change, the use of formal, decent, and clean language began to seem artificial. When Wordsworth said that the language of poetry should be the language men actually use, he probably didn’t think of abusive language used by guttersnipes.

            Democratizing life is great but democratizing the language of literature can have serious consequences. By doing that we should be ready to invite muck into our lives because language shapes minds and influences culture. A day could come when our prime ministers and presidents begin to use words such as “fuck,” “shit,” “motherfucker,” “balls,” etc. in parliament and in their public addresses to sound more realistic and convincing. That is why more sophisticated writing and decent literature are so important to keep the balance right in society. We are the language we use. Publishers should make a note of the fact that too much use of the fuck word can make life looked fucked up.


  • Dharm Pal Singh

    A very relevant issue has been expertly discussed. The beauty of the art lies in the concealment of art. Moreover, a writer is supposed to inculcate values in his readers. One may attract the crowd by using abusive language in the name of presenting reality but in the long run that will also lose its effect. Imagine the girls walking naked on the street. Will they create interest in the onlookers for their beauty? There will be revulsion instead of attraction.
    In the present times, everything is being devalued, be it Yoga, political debates etc.for popularity.

  • Rahul Yadav

    Sir, it’s like the vicious circle of the poverty, given by prof. Nurkse,which asserts that a country is poor because it’s poor. So,in the case of language because we do what we learn in our readings

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