Here is my AOI essay. Prompt is below, then the essay, then the score.
Read the statement and the instructions that follow it, and then make any notes that will help you plan your response. Begin typing your response in the box at the bottom of the screen.
"Clearly, government has a responsibility to support the arts. However, if that support is going to produce anything of value, government must place no restrictions on the art that is produced."
Discuss the extent to which you agree or disagree with the opinion stated above. Support your views with reasons and/or examples from your own experience, observations, or reading.
Censorship of arts and ideas is a controversial topic, especially in countries such as the United States of America, where freedom of speech and expression is one of the ideological pillars upon which the nation was founded. The above statement claims that government has a responsibility to support the arts, and essentially makes the argument that if government places restrictions of any kind upon the arts, then governmental support will smother the artists' ability to produce valuable work. Taken at face value, this statement is generally easy to agree with, however a closer examination reveals that it is poorly defined, and communicates the wrong ideas in its premises.
The statement itself is inherently flawed. The author claims that government has a responsibility to support the arts. However, the author never defines what he or she means by "support." Parents financially support their children and spouses emotionally and physically support each other. However, the best manner in which the government can support the arts is by allowing artists to grow, work, and think with complete and total lack of restriction. Ultimately, in a free society, government should have such a small impact on individual freedom and way of life that it goes almost unnoticed. Perhaps the author should written "government has a responsibility to not suppress the arts." Artistic people, like all others, want to be free and completely open to express themselves and their ideas without fear or reprisal, punishment, or scorn.
A true artist desire a creation of his or her own, composed solely by creativity and imagination. If the government is supporting the artist in any way, has the artist truely created something that is uninfluenced by an outside entity? Perhaps this instance illustrates how governmental support can have a negative impact on artistic value despite the fact that the government may not have levied any restrictions on the individual at all. But as a consequence of government aid (financial, physical, or otherwise), the artistic creation has been altered, and is not a true expression of the creator's ideas.
Clearly, government restriction of the arts is a negative thing. However, there are likely instances in which society as a whole can agree that certain artistic freedoms might not be approrpiate. For example, while freedom of speech and expression should be defended at almost any cost, parents would most likely agree that there are appropriate venues for this to take place. Pornography is seen by many to be artistic in nature, however it is almost unilaterally agreed upon that such images are inappropriate for display in kindergarten classes. This does not, however, mean that pornographic artists are not free to create and express themselves for audiences in a multitude of other ways. But it does serve as an example of a situation in which society as a whole can generally agree on an issue, and so choose to restrict the display of certain art forms. The value of the art form is still appreciated by its proponents, and the social mores of the population in regards to public education are protected.
In summary, while there are arguments to be made for both sides, it is clear that there are greater advantages to advocating that government stay completely uninvolved in the production of art as a whole. Assistance in its creation bears the risk of diluting or altering the final product in some way, however minor. If the government does not restrict the creation of art and also does not aid in its creation by any means, then the artist has the metaphorical blank slate necessary to create his or her masterpiece with no distractions. Additionally, while anything created by the individual should be protected as unique and valuable, society as a whole should retain the ability to regulate certain aspects of artistic display. The social gains made and protection of the innocent that ensues outweigh any cost that individual artists argue might be incurred. Hence, government should best act in a completely uninvolved manner in regards to the creation of any artistic product, and only regulate its display in public with in the most extreme and obscene cases.
Total Score 6
Analyzes the issue 6
Supports ideas 6
Organizes a coherent idea 6
Language control 6