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GRE Issue Essay: To Understand The Most Important Characteristics Of A Society, One Must Study Its Major Cities - With A Free Essay Review

Prompt: "To understand the most important characteristics of a society, one must study its major cities. 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."

A society is nothing but the interrelationship amongst all people living in it. It works on a set of predefined rules and regulations etched out by its progenitors. A society gives birth to culture. The society does not have well defined boundries like the cities and countries. But a city surely gives a picture of the people living in it to some extent but not completely. A society has various shades and colours which cannot be studied only by its major cities.

If one attempts to study the society of a prodigious country like India, one will find huge diversity in its culture. It is a multilingual, multicultural and multireligious society in which the dialect changes every few kilometers. If you compare cities like Delhi and Mumbai with the cities of the eastern seven sister states(Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Sikkim, etc.) one finds huge differences amongst the thinking, way of life, social conventions, etc. amongst them. Honour killings, female foeticide and infanticide are far less common in these states. Even in today's time the women haven't got equality in major cities of the country, the seven sisters states show a very different picture. Daughters are equally welcome as sons.

The society has a very different colour in cities and rural areas especially in developing countries like Sri lanka, India, etc. The cities give an impression of a fast paced life where people are always in a rush. But if we go a little ahead and study a village you will find a simple life , prudeness amongst people with warmth in their hearts and sense of togetherness in them. One finds mostly joint families in the rural areas, a sight vanishing from the cities. “Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.”- a well imparted biblical teaching but totally invisible in cities.

Additionally a society is a manifestation of ideas and principles some of which are hundred years old. They are progressing and changing at a very slow pace. On the other hand the cities which are a few decades old are progressing at a very fast pace. There is a very high difference in the speeds of the two. Cities are highly under the influence of the industrial revolution and technology. Today a city shows more about the progress in science and technology of a country rather than depicting the principles of people living in it.

Another important factor is Globalisation. People from one nation have migrated to other countries and cultures. America and Canada are the biggest examples where people from almost all over the world reside. The society thus is becoming an amalgamation of multiple cultures. Where the amalgamation is not there, a discernable number of cultures can be seen. So a city alone cannot depict all the cultures residing in it.

I am very well aware that the cultural heritage resides in cities. All the major mueseums and art centers are in the cities itself. But the cultural heritage of a country is not enough to study its society. It will definitely give an idea, an impression but not the complete picture. So in conclusion I can say that to study the important characteristics of a society study its people, its the people which make a society instead of its cities.



Your first paragraph contributes little to the completion of the assigned task and concludes with a vague thesis (it's not clear what you mean by "shades and colors" for instance). I don't think the thesis, in any case, is really responsive to the prompt. You are not being asked to discuss the claim that one can understand the most important characteristics of a society by _only_ studying the major cities. The original statement only suggests that it is necessary to study the major cities; it doesn't suggest that it is sufficient to study the major cities. The question you need to answer, then, is whether it is important to study the major cities in order to understand the most important characteristics of a society, or whether it is possible to understand those important characteristics without studying the major cities. I suggest that you take another bash at this essay with that question in mind. Before you do that, however, note that even if your interpretation of the prompt were correct, the current essay would not be a complete response to that prompt. Your essay seems to be devoted to noting the existence of differences across different areas of society. You devote very little attention to explaining how consideration of those differences helps you to establish your position.

Best, EJ.
Submitted by: jas1291

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