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GMAT Essays : AWA / AWM Issue Essay 6.1

GMAT Essays - AWA / AWM Analytical Writing     'Analysis of Issue' Essay


Contributed by Victor
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Issue Topic 6.1 Professional success is hard to achieve unless people give up essential aspects of a satisfying personal life.

Discuss whether you agree or disagree (partially or totally) with the view expressed providing reasons and examples

ESSAY (Contributed by Victor)

In today's world, it is difficult for most people to achieve professional succes unless they give up important aspects of a fulfilling personal life. Therefore, professional success achieved without sacrificing family responsibility is truly noteworthy.


Sacrifices in family life for the sake of a career or goal essentially fall into two categories. The first category includes freedom fighters, soldiers, revolutionaries and the like, who really have no choice and whose careers could have far-reaching effects on society and, in some cases, change the course of history. The second, often-encountered category includes the slick, ambitious city-professional who wants to achieve success at any cost. Such individuals often take decisions that help further their career but which have disastrous consequences when it comes to family life. It is my considered opinion that these individuals, in a sense, view themselves as 'martyrs'. They often work extraordinarily hard to achieve their chosen career goals and equate the sacrifices they make in their personal lives to those made by martyrs. Arguments to support my stated position define the content of this essay.


The burgeoning divorce rate in developed nations tells us that family responsibility has now been relegated to a second place, having been replaced by the need for career and monetary success. In my opinion, professional and monetary success has no value by itself, and acquires meaning only when it benefits loved ones. An example that comes to mind is that of Mario Puzo's 'Godfather'. The head of the Corleone family, Vito Corleone, in addition to running the vast Corleone empire, also ekes out time to meet members of the family and help them out with their problems. In contrast, Vito's successor, Michael Corleone, has his elder brother assassinated as a punishment for betrayal!


People today seem to have forgotten the great sacrifices that earlier generations made to achieve success. An interesting example is that of the Polish pianist and composer, Wladyslaw Szpilman. He lost his entire family during the holocaust of the Second World War, but through a series of miraculous events, survived the Nazi occupation of Warsaw and went on to become a successful pianist on Polish radio. He used his musical talent to support his family in a Warsaw ghetto, and in fact, it was this talent that ultimately saved him. The point is that it seems a bit selfish to just focus on a career at the expense of all else, when there have been people like Szpilman and indeed many others who overcame impossible odds to attain success.


In some sense, society in general needs to take some of the blame. Actors and business tycoons are applauded and treated like Gods. Fame and wealth have become the sole driving force of our society. Family values are given absolutely no importance. The world has gone mad!

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