Tanushree Gupta's SAT essay got a 12!!

Essay prompt : Although most of us do not like being criticized, it is said that we can always benefit from being told what we are doing wrong. We may lose a valuable learning opportunity if we do not listen to the criticisms expressed by others. Yet criticism, even when honest and well-intended, can be more harmful than helpful. We have more to gain by ignoring or shielding ourselves from the criticisms of others.


Essay : As the famous saying goes, “It is easy to talk the talk rather than to walk the walk”. It is true that in a game the onlookers make the most noise whereas the player just keeps playing. Various examples throughout literature and history stand testimony to the truth that there is more to gain by shielding ourselves from the criticism of others. The first example discussed here would be of Jose Marti, a Cuban revolutionary who fought even though her policies and actions were condemned. The second example would refer to an incident popularly known as “Seward’s folly” in the United States. Lastly, the third example would discuss about Charles Goodyear, the man who made rubber useful to the world.

                  To begin with, Jose Marti was a famous Cuban revolutionary who fought for the independence and freedom that Cuba deserved from the unjust rule of Spain. Despite facing intense criticism, Jose fought with all her heart towards what she believed. The criticism then, reached it’s peak and Jose had to flee to New York City following which she lost her life in the Anglo-Spanish war. Thus, like many other freedom fighters, Jose too despite facing criticism fought for the Cuban independence. On the contrary, if they would have yielded to criticism Cuba would still be tied under the unfair rule of Spain.

                     Another incident that stands as a plus is the “Seward’s Folly”. Seward was the former Secretary of State in America. Heavily criticized for his policies and beliefs, he was not supported by his countrymen when he made an agreement to buy Alaska. Americans thought that Alaska was nothing but a barren snow covered land. Later, it turned out that Alaska was home to rich goldmines, oil and various other resources,

                   Lastly, Charles Goodyear who made rubber useful to man had to spend seventeen years of his life facing criticism, discouragement and various other social evils. Yet, he stuck to his work and proved the successfulness of rubber to mankind through a process called “Vulcanization”. Had it not been for Charle’s determination and will-power, the usefulness of rubber would have been hugely delayed for years. 

                   To conclude with, it is not about sitting back when the world tells you to but about showing the world that only under pressure can diamonds be made.