2010– Eighth Grade Second Place:

Shiori Tomatsu, Missouri.

Is the Pen Mightier than the Sword?

“There is a great streak of violence in every human being. If it is not channeled and understood, it will break out in war or in madness,” Filmmaker Sam Peckinpah conveys that if violence is ignored, it will become uncontrollable because violence is a part of humans. Through literature, media, and personal events, we see that the sword is mightier than the pen because violence expediently solves conflicts that arise.

In “Lord of the Flies” by William Golding, Golding shows the truth about human beings when the characters savagely kill each other off. Jack, a malicious character in the society, manipulates followers and becomes the leader of the hunters. Without society’s rules, Jack has the power because of his violent nature. The followers fear him and do not dare to disagree with him. He uses violence to conquer and create culture.

Other than literature, the effects of violence affect real life. Victims of violence are reported daily on the news along with murders and war scenes. To many, while professing sympathy, seeking the news as a guilty pleasure for them. People are instinctively drawn to the devastating and perverse events. We secretly love violence because violence has powers that oppress people and achieve goals rapidly that the pen cannot.

Humans have violence within them and its only burden is societal law. But even this order cannot always control the violence inside us. After all, humans are animals; our natural instinct is to use violence as a tool. The most civilized human usually resorts to violence when the threat comes. in our country, people in the government are considered the most civilized humans, but they also decide whether we should resort to violence when attacked.

Modern society believes that violence only brings negative outcomes, but societal pressure itself is detrimental. Children come home stressed nowadays; the eight hour strict and competitive environment where society oppresses the nature of children creates frustration and angst. As a result, we release these inner feelings in appropriate physical activities- such as music, sports, and video games. Unfortunately, when a hobby cannot satisfy a person, one can fall down into a depression, or worse. And if the person makes the decision of ending their life, he is using violence as a way to solve the problem swiftly. While trying to maintain order, oppressing a natural human instinct hurts people every day.

As a civilized society, we want the pen to be mightier. We try to use words to demote violence, but when order disappears, we return to violence to gain power, we enjoy hearing and seeing violence, and we choose violence to reset our emotional stability. If we try to ignore and erase violence through the pen, a greater conflict will follow. We need to realize that the sword is a natural part of us; to be human is to recognize and harness this mighty force. “There is a great streak of violence in every human being:, a streak greater than society, law, or the pen.





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