Free Essay Reviews is a free education resource for students who want help writing college essays.

SIGN UP to post your essay and get expert feedback from a professor.

Recent Essays

February 17

December 10

August 16

August 16

August 16

August 16

August 16

August 16

August 16

August 16
Post your essay. Get expert feedback. For free.
We're trying to help students improve their writing the hard way. Do you know students who want critical essay reviews from a professor of English Literature? Click like to share. Click here to sign up and post your own essay. We offer no paid services. All reviews are completely free.
The Greatness Of Individuals Can Be Decided Only By Those Who Live After Them, Not By Their Contemporaries - With A Free Essay Review

"The greatness of individuals can be decided only by those who live after them, not by their contemporaries. Write a response in which you discuss the extent to which you agree or disagree with the statement and explain your reasoning for the position you take. In developing and supporting your position, you should consider ways in which the statement might or might not hold true and explain how these considerations shape your position."

Sometimes, the greatness of many people including artists and writers were recognized years after their death. People who live after them spotted their work, and recognized these people’s talents and achievements. However, I disagree that the greatness of individuals can be decided only by people who live after them, because there are plenty of examples showing that the greatness of individuals can be decided by contemporaries, too.

First of all, the greatness of many people are recognized by their contemporaries. For example, Albert Einstein, one of the most well-known physicist, was once an assistant examiner in a patent office. His work, special thoery of relativity, suggested that Newtonian mechanics is no longer valid when the speed of a particle exceeds the speed of light. This work shocked the world of physics, and his contribution to understanding quantum physics was recognized by his contemporaries and he received the 1921 Nobel prize. Another example, Franklin Roosevelt was the 32nd president of the US, his great contribution during the time of worldwide economic depression and total war was recognized by his contemporaries. Thus, he was successfully elected to be the US president four times. Apparently, the greatness of individuals can be decided by their contemporaries.

While many great people are recognized by their contemporaries, many great people are decided by those who live after them. For example, Vincent Van Gogh is one of them. He was not famous after he died, and his art works were not appreciated by his contemporaries. However, his materpieces are recognized by artists and art critics who live after him, and he is considered as one of most famous post-Impressionist painter. Another example is Charlse Darwin, his work thoery of evolution was not accepted by his contemporaries. His contemporaries mocked at him when he proposed the evolution of man from apes. His work was not recognized years after his death. These people found their ways into our textbooks as great men.

Overall, it is true that in some cases, the greatness of individuals are decided by those who live after them. However, I disagree this is the only possibility, there are some great individuals whose greatness are recognized by their contemporaries, too.



On the one hand, what you say here is of course true. Einstein was recognized even though Van Gogh was not. No one can disagree with that, and from a certain point of view one could say that you have proven your argument. On the other hand, offering an example in place of reasons doesn't leave much room for the kind of discussion you are being asked to demonstrate here. What you need to do, then, is to look at the possible reasons why some great persons might not be recognized by their contemporaries and why others might be recognized. Examples of course are very useful for illustrating your argument, but for a prompt with the instructions that accompany this one ("explain your reasoning" / "consider ways in which the statement might or might not hold true"), it is probably not a good idea to have the examples be all there is to the argument. Moreover, you most likely won't get much credit for knowing any of the factual details about, say, the nature and significance of Einstein's discovery, so that is not the kind of discussion should be aiming for. What you ought to try to explain are the underlying reasons why the greatness of someone such as Einstein can be recognized by Einstein's contemporaries, and the reasons why the same is not true for Van Gogh. To do that, you might consider the difference between the nature of Einstein’s discovery and the nature of Van Gogh’s contribution to the development of art. Why is one achievement immediately recognizable and the other not?

Best, EJ.
Submitted by: raoyi925


The greatness of individual can only be decided after the individual passes away, but not by using the contemporaries. However, unfortunately some people’s greatness was only recognized after their death. That does not mean that the contemporaries cannot be used to determine their greatness. But being contemporaries, they may not readily acknowledge about an individual’s greatness. But, they feel the pulse of their success. For example, Elvis Presley was an exception. Even today, Elvis Presley is praised as king of rock ‘n’ roll. Including his contemporaries accepted the fact that he was the king of music. Hence, the Individual’s greatness is recognized not only after one’s death, by also by the contemporaries.
July,05 2012

Rate Comment:
Log In to post a comment.