Consider the following comments and develop a piece of writing in response to one or more of them. Your writing will be judged on the quality of your response to the theme, how well you organise and present your point of view, and how effectively you express yourself.
- ‘There is only one happiness in this life, to love and be loved.’ – George Sanders
- ‘A good teacher can inspire hope, ignite the imagination and instill a love of learning.’ – Brad Henry
- ‘A friend is someone who knows all about you and still loves you.’ – Elbert Hubbard
- ‘It is not a lack of love, but a lack of friendship that makes unhappy marriages.’ –Friedrich Nietzsche
- ‘Love is the only force capable of transforming an enemy into a friend.’ – Martin Luther King Jr.
Suggested Theme: Love (Section B)
Time limit in the actual exam: 30 mins
Chosen Quote: ‘There is only one happiness in this life, to love and be loved.’ – George Sanders
Is Love Worth It?
George Sander’s quote, ‘There is only one happiness in this life, to love and be loved.’, is highly contrasted in the belief expressed by C. S. Lewis’s – ‘To love is to be hurt.’ While the proponents of Sander’s perspective appreciate and cherish the experience of love, Lewis’s suggest otherwise – love is not worth the pain and suffering it manifests. The following dialectic argues the projected controversial theories.
To truly comprehend Sander’s view and the benevolence of love to one’s life, one must consider all of the applications of love. Love is not only the connotations expressed by romantic affection and sexual passion, but also includes the virtues shared with family, friends, and comrades. While the latter of relationships are not immune to misery, they seem to be more apt at providing a constant, less ecstatic source of joy. In Jane Austen’s ‘Pride and Prejudice’, many would say the most noteworthy romantic love tied Elizabeth and Mr Darcy. However, a more critical eye realises that Elizabeth’s love for her best friend – Charlotte – depicts of the typical love one could relate and experience in real life, which was all at once unconditional and supportive despite their differences and lasted a lifetime. In short, love in any shape and form enriches lives.
Though there are many instances of the virtues of love, the counterparts supported by Lewis’s perspective would still argue the magnitude of love’s vices. Romantic love is perhaps the most common form of love associated with jealousy. When one thinks of their own jealous experiences, the most painful of them is likely to involve a lost, or unrequited love. Francois de la Rochefoucauld, a noted French author, once remarked, ‘Jealousy is not so much the love of another as the love for oneself.’ When one examines the feelings of distrust, inferiority and uncertainty that consume so many promising romantic relationships, then Rochefoucauld’s statement comes to realisation; jealousy kills love because of its deep egotistical roots. By preoccupying a person with the fears and doubts, jealousy leads to traumatic personal experiences or stunts the growth of romance before it can begin.
While it is true that love can break hearts and even take lives, it remains challenging to characterise the concept of love as detrimental. Even with the forfeiture of romantic love to Lewis’s invariable heartache, the more significant part of one’s life to be filled with the loves of friends, family and even companion animals, that in return provide an unwavering strength, respect and appreciation.
Feedback from METC Institute
Engagement with the chosen topic:
The student shows a good understanding of their selected topic. Their thesis statement is clear, and it is relevant to the overall prompt. There is an obvious attempt to delve into the deeper tones and themes of the quote. There are some questionable and confusing argumentation but overall this shows a good level of understanding and examination.
Knowledge and thought:
The student utilises a large volume of quotes and literature as the sources of secondary evidence. While these do add to the piece they are not the strongest forms of secondary supportive evidence. There are huge life examples of love and loss and these would be much stronger sources.
Structure of the Essay:
You have followed the recommended thesis-antithesis structure, although you could have developed your antithesis more. There is some level of confusion in the points made but there is an overall flow.
There are some minor issues here with phrasing, syntax and punctuation, but none of these issues are so severe that they impede the clarity or strength of the student’s arguments. The issue lies primarily with the run on sentences and these can impede the clarity of the argumentation.
The arguments made here are good in theory, but they need to be better supported by concrete evidence. There is a real attempt at an analysis of deeper tones here which are positive.
This is a really good attempt at an essay. There several issues however which if fixed would result in a top tier piece of work. Make sure your argument are clear, there is no point having great arguments in theory if you don’t make sure the reader understand them. Ensure you support these arguments with solid real secondary evidence.
Feedback from AceGAMSAT
This essay is quite a mix. I think that your writing would benefit, even the reflective pieces, from a really clear plan to begin with.
However, the manner in which you move from idea to idea is definitely appealing. There are elements of this here, yet you do not sufficiently consolidate on your ideas. I will explain what I mean by this. To consolidate on your ideas it will be necessary for you to explain them in the maximum detail. Then I would advise that you tease out the most silent points. Then lead on from these points to some major conclusion or discovery. The reader will thus feel that they are being exposed to the maximum level of insightful commentary.
In choosing to focus on the insights or discoveries of others the reader is not able to glean your own specific discoveries. Work on this and your essay marks will improve.
As usual I feel that there are points where your expression is not as concise and lucid as it could be. Keep reading, and also keep expanding your vocabulary and knowledge of grammar and syntax.
Feedback from the Gold Standard GAMSAT
A good understanding of the theme of the quotes is shown.
Thought and Content:
This is the closest you have come to creating a Task B response that addresses both the personal and social themes. It is entirely acceptable to use the storyline of a book with which you are familiar to write your response. However, it requires more than a one-paragraph summary. You need to then take this theme further and relate it to your own life. For example, what draws you to this story? When did you first encounter it? Why did it have an impact on you? Did it change your perspective on the subject of love and relationships? Provide guidance? Act as a cautionary tale? Remind you of a previous relationship?
Given that you are of the opinion that jealousy runs most deeply in the realm of relationships, we also suspect that you have a story of jealousy in love that you could explore. For some, jealousy has rarely been about personal relationship, it has more often been to do with success in other areas of life. We see your opinion again in your concluding paragraph – take those perspectives and tell the reader how you came to have this view. That’s where the heart of the Task B essay lies.
Language and Structure:
As per your other Task B essays, the structure here still falls short. We have previously suggested that you read good personal essays, and we stand by this advice. The single best way to become a better write is to read good writing.
Think about expanding the ideas in the second paragraph to create an essay more in line with the expectations for this task.