GT Writing Task 2 / Essay Sample # 97
You should spend about 40 minutes on this task.
Write about the following topic:
Creative artists should always be given the freedom to express their own ideas (in words, pictures, music, film) in whichever way they wish. There should be no government restrictions on what they do.
To what extent do you agree or disagree with this opinion?
Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your own knowledge or experience.
Write at least 250 words.
Freedom of expression is at the forefront of national debate and is driving political discourse. Many liberals believe that creative artists should always relish the freedom to express their ideas. They go on arguing that the government should not introduce any restrictions on their works. In my opinion, however, creative artists can enjoy freedom as long as they do not hurt others’ cultural norms or religious beliefs.
To commence with, artists have been playing a starring role in the evolution of the world around us. Proponents of freedom of expression argue that creative artists give thoughtful critique to our social, economical and political systems through their works, like paintings, literature, movie, music for example, so that society can engage thoughtfully and can spur people into action towards social progress. In fact, artists unearth the truth so as to shape people’s opinion as well as raise questions about the existing belief systems. A case in point is Sati: Widow Burning In India. The novel challenged the practice of Sati, burning a widow alive with her deceased husband’s funeral pyre.
In my opinion, however, freedom cannot always reap benefits to society. Many a time, freedom is a way of committing racial acts of mocking religious beliefs, thereby disturbing social harmony. Take Charlie Hebdo’s cartoon of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) for an example. The cartoon lampooned Muhammad (SWT) that breached all the limits of decency, which in turn caused chaos in many parts of the world. Freedom of expression, thus, often serves as the spark igniting violence and hatred.
To recapitulate, freedom of expression is a double-edged sword. However, creative artists should relish the freedom of expression, but there ought to be some restrictions when it crosses the limits and turns into stigmatization and hatred.