GMAT : Analysis of An Issue

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An Issue

74. The people we remember best are the ones who broke the rules.


Discuss the extent to which you agree or disagree with the opinion expressed above. Support your point of view with reasons and / or examples from your own experience, observations or reading.


I strongly agree that rule-breakers are the most memorable people. By departing from the status quo, iconoclasts call attention to themselves, some providing conspicuous mirrors for society, others serving as our primary catalysts for progress.

In politics, for example, rule-breakers Mahatma Ghandi and Martin Luther King secured prominent places in history by challenging the status quo through civil disobedience. Renegades such as Ghengus Khan, Stalin and Hussein broke all the human-rights rules, thereby leaving indelible marks in the historical record. And future generations will probably remember Nixon and Kennedy more clearly than Carter or Reagan by way of their rule-breaking activities – specifically Nixon's Watergate debacle and Kennedy's extra-marital trysts.

In the art, mavericks such as Dali, Picasso and Warhol who break established rules of composition ultimately emerge as the greatest artists while the names of artists with superior technical skills are relegated to the footnotes of art-history textbooks. Our most influential popular musicians are the flagrant rule breakers - for example be-bop musicians such as Charlie Parker and Thelonius Monk who broke all the harmonic rules and folk musician-poet Bob Dylan who broke the rules for lyrics.

In the sciences, innovation and progress can only result from challenging conventional theories by breaking rules. Newton and Einstein, for example, both refused to blindly accept what were perceived at their time as certain rules of physics. As a result, both men redefined those rules and both men emerged as two of the most memorable figures in the field of physics.

In conclusion, it appears that the deepest positive and negative impressions appear on either side of the same iconoclastic coin. Those who leave the most memorable imprints in history do so by challenging norms, traditions, cherished values and the general status quo - that is by breaking the rules.

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