SAT Esssy - Can success be disastrous?

SAT Esssy - Can success be disastrous?


Sample Essay 1 -

The world is littered with the carcasses of those who strove for success, only to find emptiness and despair. Relentlessly pursuing success can lead to death–as in the case of Jay Gatsby–or, more commonly, to disappointment and madness, as in the cases of Alexander the Great and Britney Spears. Success can have disastrous consequences.

Jay Gatsby, the anti-hero of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby, was a man motivated by his need to succeed. Jay Gatsby said that his goal was to win the love of Daisy, but he was really motivated by a more common American dream: money. Gatsby only loved Daisy because her voice sounded “like money.” His whole life was spent pursuing financial and social success. Nothing good came from his desire for success; instead, Gatsby died, and almost nobody attended his funeral.

The case of Alexander the Great had similarly disastrous consequences. Conquering the known world was Alexander the Great’s main goal and he excelled at it. By his early 30′s, Alexander found that he had successfully gained power over everything he had ever wanted. But this didn’t satisfy Alexander. Instead, he was crushed by the disappointment that there was nothing left to conquer. Alexander was successful in achieving his incredible goal, but his success proved disastrous to his mental health, and he died soon after.

Britney Spears is another cautionary tale of success. From her early appearances on the Mickey Mouse club, to her musical superstardom, to her head-shaving public breakdown, Britney Spears proved how quickly your star can ascend and then crash back down. She achieved worldwide success shortly after she did puberty. It was obviously too much for her to handle, both mentally and emotionally. Her life of glamor and fame quickly fell apart. By all accounts her success was devastating to her personal life and mental health.

The pitfalls of striving for—and achieving—success are tragically apparent in the examples of Jay Gatsby, Alexander the Great, and Britney Spears. Those who hope to be famous and revered should take note. In some situations, success can have unexpected and unfortunate consequences.


2011/3/16 21:22:03

Posted by DoctorZ | 阅读全文 | 回复(1) | 引用通告 | 编辑

Re:SAT Esssy - Can success be disastrous?

Sample Essay - Score of 6


The power of success can be disastrous when placed in the wrong hands. Naturally, there are those who will always choose to manipulate conditions to succeed in their own endeavors, not taking into consideration the lives of those around them. On the other hand, there may be those who do not necessarily pursue selfish ends, but simply do not know where to take success once it has been achieved, thus resulting in their own self-sabotage.


Throughout history, we have seen success used wrongfully in the hands of the unworthy. Powerful leaders of nations, kingdoms, and empires, having succeeded in gaining leadership, have then used their influence wrongfully in achieving their own selfish (and sometimes twisted) goals. Nero, the Roman emperor who beat his pregnant wife to death and has been suspected of instigating the great fire of Rome in an attempt to boost his own political influence. Henry VIII of England, for whom women were beheaded for not bearing him a son, and who is rumored to have eaten eight chickens a night while English peasants starved. The notorious Ferdinand and Isabella of Spain, who carried out the Spanish Inquisition. The list is endless. Even in literature, we see the corruption and downfall of society and mankind as a whole as a result of the abuse of success in the possession of those who do not deserve it, as seen in William Shakespeare’s tragedy of King Lear. In the story, societal order is replaced with chaos when there is a power shift from Lear to his evil daughters, Regan and Goneril. This order only returns to a slight degree when virtue (in the form of Lear’s good daughter, Cordelia) returns to England. Success is hazardous when awarded to the unvirtuous.


However, there may be those who are not necessarily evil of greedy in their pursuits, but merely do not know how to handle success. This proves to be just more disastrous to the individual than to anyone else, since it is the individual who will then sabotage his own success to return to his former comfort zone. Success is meant to be grown upon, not exploited or feared.


Success, when achieved by the unworthy or inexperienced, is a most disastrous element. Success is not about being happy at the expense of those about you –it is about using one’s newly gained happiness to improve the lives of others. If one reflects on the wise words of Ralph Waldo Emerson, one will never go astray: “To know that one person has breathed easier because you have lived -this is to have succeeded.”

2011/4/29 8:12:56

Posted by doctorzhang | 个人主页 | 引用 | 返回 | 删除 | 回复


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