WRITING TEST A

Consider the following comments and develop a piece of writing in response to one or more of them. Your writing will be judged on the quality of your response to the theme; how well you organise and present your point of view, and how effectively you express yourself. You will not be judged on the views or attitudes you express.

“If all the rich people in the world divided up their money among themselves there wouldn’t be enough to go around.”
Christina Stead

“Endless money forms the sinews of war.”
Cicero

“The only way not to think about money is to have a great deal of it.”
Edith Wharton

“Money was never a big motivation for me, except as a way to keep score. The real excitement is playing the game.”
Donald Trump

“A large income is the best recipe for happiness I ever heard of.”
Jane Austen

“Money frees you from doing things you dislike. Since I dislike doing nearly everything, money is handy.”
Groucho Marx

How to tackle this question

(Warning, spoiler alert, do not read this if you want to have a go on your own)

On reading these quotes you should have noticed that the unifying themes here are the positive and negative aspects of wealth (Wealth vs Greed). Once you notice this you have a start on your essay. You could tackle this from a personal perspetive and talk about your experiences of money, or lack thereof , and bring in your knowledge of current affairs, eg. the Bill and Melinda gates foundation, wars over diamonds and oil, the state of the financial markets, etc, etc.

Points you might consider

  • Wealth can bring freedom but also fear, difficulty and loss of potential. How can one thing have such different effects?
  • Is it necessary to be rich to be considered wealthy?
  • Are wealth and poverty relative terms? What is meant by wealth? Does wealth define poverty?
  • Can wealth be a curse as well as a blessing? Consider the Congo for example.
  • How do different societies deal with wealth and poverty, consider the welfare state, the workhouse, criminalisation of the poor.
  • Does poverty promote creativity. Can wealth have the opposite effect?
  • Is a monetary system necessary for humans to live in large groups?
  • Are there any alternative political systems that do not require money, eg. small group anarchy? Can these work on a large scale? Do you have any personal experience with such systems?
  • What is the nature of money? How do we define it? Are wealth and money distinct, eg, a painting may be worth far more that the value of the paint and canvas used. Does the act of painting create wealth?