2010 – 7th Grade 5th Place Winner

Brandon Griffin, Virginia

Is the Pen Mightier than the Sword?

Is the pen mightier than the sword? Is society impacted by words more than violence? While words may seem intellectual and logical, they are swept aside by the long-lasting memory of violence and the devastation is causes society. And whereas words only are grasped by those who are able to fully comprehend them, violence is universal; violence is reached by anyone, no matter race, nationality, or age, and is now an integrated part of our day-to-day.

Violence has a greater impact on our society because people remember it. In school we are taught the turmoil’s of past wars. We remember that on the seventh of December in 1941, Pearl Harbor was attacked. President Roosevelt even proclaimed it as “a adate which will live in infamy”; it is a date that will continue to live through our memories. A death, arson, or a car accident being displayed on the evening news is remembered far longer than a story on a major’s speech on economics. When we think of violence as either exciting ,depressing, or unnecessary, the more we think about it, and, consequently, the more we remember it.

Furthermore, violence impacts our society because it’s everywhere, and it has become a common occurrence in our lives. The television is one device that has captured violence and broadcasted it for the entire world to see. For an average American child who watches 1,680 minutes of television per week, the will have seen 8,000 murders on the television by the time they finish elementary school. And by age eighteen, they would see 200,000 violent acts on a television alone. However, television is not our only source of violence in this would. Nowadays, videogames like Halo and Grand Theft Auto encourage the use of violence, and a simple hello has been transformed into a hit on the shoulder or an elaborate combination of stomping, grabbing, and pulling. In our society, violence has rooted itself everywhere and has integrated itself into our everyday.

Violence has most drastically influenced the way society markets things. Because violence has also become exciting and different marketers have changed the way they advertise their products. In the world of news, horrible or violent acts, such as that of wars, murders, or other sorts of tragedies, is used to hook people and keep them interested. Consequently, much more time is devoted to news like this. Knowing this, directors, authors, and others publish things for society’s leisure have focused on violence, and violent acts to sell their creations. It is as if these people have found the nicotine of society, and society craves what they promote. Violence has influenced the way consumers shop and producers market their products.

Violence is like a virus that has infested the computer that is our society, and is almost impossible to get rid of. It has become a part of our everyday, and is seen everywhere, in every shape and form. Violence is no longer a distant thing that only affects the few, such as wars or calamities, but is found in our living rooms and on the streets. So isn’t violence mightier than a few simple words in the here today, gone tomorrow world we live in. Doesn’t the sword take precedence over the pen in our society?

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