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Two Short UVA Essays: Orwell's "1984" and the word maverick

thecandycane 1 / 3  
Dec 30, 2009   #1
I am really unsure about these, especially the one on 1984. I think it is too long, and I'm afraid the comments and analysis might be more commonplace than insightful (I read 1984 for myself rather than school). I'm also afraid the comment on North Korea would be seen in a negative light, despite the fact that I got the information from a very reliable source.

Both essays have a 250 word limit.

What work of art, music, science, mathematics, or literature has surprised, unsettled, or challenged you, and in what way?

I read the book in a few hours, and arose dazed. After staring at the letters on the page for so long, I blinked at the bright light and colors of the real world like some newly unearthed cave creature. There was one word running through my head: what?

The book in question was Orwell's 1984.

One of the novel's characters, Julia, states that "They can't get inside you." I was instantly struck by the intense similarities to my own beliefs. If there was anything I felt I was sure of, it was my own mind. It was my sanctuary that shielded me from the world. My thoughts were private; my mind was me. It was the only thing I could be sure of. 1984 unceremoniously dismantles this belief. And this belief was so fundamental to me that I felt that I had been yanked out of orbit and couldn't quite get back to earth.

The thing about Orwell's novel, however, is that it is impossible to disregard everything he says. Media control and totalitarianism is too much of a chilling reality. 1984 is not merely a "warning", or a "prophecy", nowadays it is very much a reflection of our world. I almost laughed out loud when I read an article of North Korea that stated that some Koreans had radios installed in their homes that could not be muted, only turned down.

So now I look a little closer. I try to read in between the lines of articles. I try to read official government publications, rather than what analysts give me. Hopefully, I'll recognize Oceania before it gets here.

What is your favorite word and why?

Out of all the wonderful words in the English language, from gibbous to clinquant to sesquipedalian, my favorite is probably maverick.

It is an interesting-sounding word. The soft "m" juxtaposes the hard "k" like sand dunes that give way to flint. And it has an interesting definition: originally, a maverick was an unbranded calf. Today, it is used to describe an independent thinker or an unconventional person.

The steady diet of books I thrived on as a child had an interesting side effect on my personality, mainly due to a key point of children's literature: the hero. Usually, this hero is not only noble, but also initially an outcast. Most of all, the hero is different. As an avid seven-year-old reader, I was determined to be different - an ambition that remains to this day.

Maverick people, people that think unconventionally, have a huge influence in society, and not only in children's literature. If great thinkers like Newton, Einstein, or Kant had satisfied themselves with falling in line with the thoughts of their time, they would have never come up with new theories that remain alive to this day. To discover and invent, one must think outside the box.

Therefore, I admire a maverick. I strive towards being unbranded. After all, mavericks are the ones who will change the world.

Any suggestions would be very helpful! Feel free to tear these apart!
ziyad_ziyad 3 / 8  
Dec 30, 2009   #2
Well Veronica ,,, it was good ,However , in my opinion , the first one is better ,, because ,,, in the first essay ,, you have got a proper introduction and and a slightly good conclusion ,, but what i recommend is ,, to add something else , so instead of talking about only one thing you might talk about another thing at the same time .. for example , you can say that "There are many things in my life have got the opportunity to challenge me ,however, things have surprised me the most are ... and ... " then you keep going on ,, explaining how and why .

That was my opinion ^_^
OP thecandycane 1 / 3  
Dec 30, 2009   #3
So basically I should add on more of my experiences to make the essays a little more concrete?

I'm having trouble with the word count...

Any other comments would be appreciated!
MangoLemonade22 - / 8  
Dec 30, 2009   #4
I totally understand how you're worried about the North Korea comment...but that can be fixed. The main problem is your verb choice "laugh at"..perhaps it might sound less derisive if you say that you shivered or got goosebumps or something along those lines. This might help to show understanding rather than ridicule.

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