2017 – 8th Grade National 4th Place Winner

Rohan Prasad, Florida.

Is The Pen Mightier Than the Sword?

The world is governed by two ideologies, one is fear and oppression while the other is wisdom and independence. These two ideologies can be represented by the pen and the sword. The sword can represent dictatorship and violence while the pen represents knowledge and enlightenment. These have always been two solutions to a problem. Various dictators and tyrants have used the sword to force their people to obey and create an international standing. The truly great people do not use force to make a name for themselves or govern others; instead, they use the power of the pen. They show their power through the influence of words and skillful leadership. Martin Luther King Jr. used the pen to fight for African-American rights, changing thousands of lives around America. His peaceful protests spoke louder than any act of violence.

The true ability of the pen is its power to lead men forward to great sights of the future.

The pen can influence the minds of people similar to how Thomas Paine's book “Common Sense” persuaded the colonists on the idea of revolution against the British. It gave reasons on why the colonists of America should become their own independent nation. Swords or rather fear cannot create ideas the pen and its knowledge can. Knowledge can create many revolutionary ideas. In the 1980s, it would have been ludicrous for the notion that computers would have been everywhere, that we would own a portable minicomputer. However, this science fiction is the reality of today, the internet is a part of our daily lives and phones are becoming more and more sophisticated. Humanity has advanced rapidly because of such amazing ideas. Violence and oppression do not progress humanity forward but rather through the use of knowledge.

Violence does not create answers for problems but rather causes more problems to crop up. Mahatma Gandhi once said, “i object to violence because when it appears to do good, the good is only temporary; the evil it does is permanent.” Violence just spreads more violence and causes a chain of violence to spread cropping up more problems. Adolf Hitler believed he could create a superior Aryan race. Unfortunately, his ideas led to the massacre of 17 million citizens that were mainly Jews. The pen can save lives instead of taking them away. Malala Youzafai is a young girl who lived in Pakistan who fought for girl’s right to education as many people such as the Taliban opposed such ideas. She decided to write a blog in the BBC Urdu Service to spread the message of the threats to girl’s education.

There are innumerable examples of where either the pen and sword have been used to accomplish an action. However, the sword ultimately leads to more destruction and chaos conceived by pointless violence while the pen can lead mankind forward. It’s through the power of the pen that humanity has managed to progress to the current advanced civilization today and to greater heights in the future.



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