2017 – 6th Grade National 2nd Place Winner

William Greene, Texas.

An Analytical Essay on Why the Pen is Mightier than the Sword:

Evolution is the basis of human advancement. From lesser intelligence to higher intelligence- the story is merely the survival of the fittest. The definition of “the fittest” is not the strongest ofr with more physical power. This leads us to the debate: is the pen mightier than the sword? In explanation, the pen is identical to knowledge and knowledge is undeniably power. Knowledge assists us in overcoming fear, but force gives upsurge to fear anew. Over centuries, knowledge and ideas proliferate with an influential pen leaves an eternal impression. Wars can overpower the voice of the people; knowledge can accord the voice to the voiceless. War can only destruct. Knowledge can only construct. The pen is mightier than the sword through its characteristics of non-violence and the evolution of humanity.

The pen does not symbolize the pen as a writing utensil; it represents human ideas entrenched in the form of text, or anything that can connect to the minds of people. Similarly, the sword doesn’t symbolize the sword as a weapon; it represents the “blunt force that demolishes anyone that challenges it.” [globalnetwork.org]. The pen is a means to mold people in a non-violent way, and is preferable over the sword, which is a means to brutally persuading people to do or agree with one's opinion or will. But, force may occasionally win over reasoning. This is seen throughout history as societies fell to conquest. Considering the examples of tyranny throughout this history, most people prefer the pen over the sword. “Four hostile newspapers are more to be feared than a thousand bayonets” [Napoleon], is a reality of today. Therefore, the pen surpasses the sword through its characteristics of non-violence.

Early people battled with the forces of a harsh planet, adapting to varied environments that themselves changed over time. It was this struggle that forced humanity to combine brains and brawn to solve problems for present and future generations. As humans advanced, the destinies of societies were based on domination and war, but recently, humanity has begun to understand that power and strength cannot solve all problems. The impact of thoughts and ideas are more powerful than the use of force. Force often fails to alter the beliefs/ideas of people, but when both the heart and mind of a person are engaged, quest changes develop within the person. Thus, new ideas delivered by force do not always change the minds of the people.

In conclusion, the pen is synonymous with knowledge and knowledge is power. Although the pen may become inferior to the sword in many circumstances, the pen is always preferable to the sword in all circumstances. Throughout human history, the pen has become more influential and more prominent than the sword. “Go on then in doing with your pen what in other times was done with the sword”, Thomas Jefferson states



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