IELTS essay: Are artists valuable to society?

The following question was asked on an IELTS writing test held in India in January 2012.

Do you think that artists like writers, musicians and painters are valuable to society? Discuss.

You can spend 40 minutes on this task. You have to write at least 250 words.

Band 9 IELTS essay sample

Artists are the custodians of a nation’s cultural heritage. They determine how the nation thinks and acts and keep it sane. Are artists valuable to the society? Let’s examine.

Artists like writers, musicians and painters influence the way a nation thinks. They act as the guiding lights for the society. No one can feel the pulse of a nation like its artists. And no one can be better representatives of a nation than its artists. Much of what we know about our forefathers, we learned from the works of great writers and painters. They preserved history for us.  Writers like Homer, Dante and Shakespeare not only entertained the masses with their writings, but also painted a realistic picture of the era they lived in. If Shakespeare wasn’t born we would perhaps have known very little about the life and values of the people who lived in the Victorian era. What Shakespeare and Dante did for us, today’s writers will do for the coming generations.

Great works of art inspire the soul. They encourage us to lead better, responsible lives. Artists often act as the voice of wisdom. They help us to distinguish between the right and the wrong. They protect the society from rotting and make it a better place to live in. Artists were the catalysts behind every revolution that changed the world. They were the first to sow the seeds of unrest. The Russian Resolution would not have been possible without the contribution of the Russian writers. In the same way, the Renaissance would not have been possible without the artists of Europe. Artists are often the first to raise their voice against injustice. Through their works they highlight the problems plaguing the society and urge the administration to do its duty.

After analyzing the situation it is not hard to see that artists are valuable to the society. Their contribution to the society cannot be measured in terms of monetary benefits. But the truth is that artists are the forces that keep the society civilized and humane.

Manjusha Nambiar

Hi, I'm Manjusha. This is my blog where I give IELTS preparation tips.

3 Responses

  1. AK says:

    its very disappointing to look at the examples you provided where you could have taken great indian poets,artists and musicians rather talking about others heritage.

  2. Giulia says:

    Since the dawn of civilization Art has been the main way to depict, not only an historical time, but also the emotions and the ideals of that period. Writers, musicians, and painters are the beating hearts of our nations, and they will always be.

    Firstly, artistic works permit us to understand and see the past under a new light. Authors such as Alessandro Manzoni gave us the possibility to discover how the Great Plague diffused throughout Italy and the way the citizens reacted to it. Thanks to Promessi Sposi, we now have a clear depiction of that time and of the people that lived in it. Manzoni and other writers, such as Verga or Pirandello, have done what today authors are also doing: write about what they know. Their work will be read or see in the future and will permit the next generations to know how life was in our days.

    Secondly, artists are able to leave a message throughout the century. A message, that in the majority of cases, is about love, friendship and freedom. Music, murals and paintings are our daily reminder to fight for what it is right, for our ideals. For instance, the famous pop singer Lady Gaga fights for gender equality in every song; her famous masterpiece ‘Born this Way’ is a manifesto for each person that feel alone and neglected. She taught us how to embrace who we are and not be afraid of the world or the society, we live in. The generation that was raised with her songs is, maybe, the first one to strongly fight for the LGBQT community. This is positive change.

    In conclusion, artists are the representatives of our ideals, our light in the darkness. They give us hope for a better future and permit us to learn from our past mistakes. They are the most beautiful part of our society, and we should always remember that.

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