GRE essay on artists

GRE – Analyse an issue 1

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Some people believe that government funding of the arts is necessary to ensure that the arts can flourish and be available to all people. Others believe that government funding of the arts threatens the integrity of the arts.

Write a response in which you discuss which view more closely aligns with your own position and explain your reasoning for the position you take. In developing and supporting your position, you should address both views presented.


An artist is a creature who lives to express life through his work. He is perceived to be callous about source of earning while for him the expression itself is a reward. Who better can stand testimony to these lines than famous van Gough? (Example) The topic urges us to discuss the need for government funding in such case so that artist can sustain their daily life and continue manifestation of their inspiration without meeting the terrible fate of van Gough. Few people may argue the contrary, pointing various instances where artists’ tastes have turned into materialistic gluttony. However, I believe a Sanskrit proverb meaning “All arts need a support of the gold” stands true even today. (Position) There are innumerous examples of this in the archives of history right from Kalidasa, an Indian poet to Raja Ravi Verma, famous Indian painter who could spread their work and in fact, inspire many with help of the government support. (Example)

It is observed that government funding of the arts can ensure the spread of the arts. Government funds can not only help artists to buy necessary equipment but also support their families. (Point) Once this dependence on income source ends, artisans can focus to create the best possible piece of arts that can attract patrons and connoisseur of the arts in exhibitions. If such art in the exhibition is accepted and appreciated, probably, the government need not support the artists after a period of time, making artists self-reliant. Further, such success may attract the younger generation to pursue the arts as a career further. (Explanation) To illustrate further, let’s look at unknown artists of the Ajanta Caves which were built over two hundred years in India. In this era, state-sponsored art encouraged generations of painters and sculptors to take up arts as a career choice which manifested into beautiful cave arts. Such arts sprang across India later proving the point that government funding to artists is essential to ensure spread of the arts. (Example)

On the other hand, many would argue that government funds would corrupt artists and in fact would attract shams and pretends to tap into the freebies as there is no absolute benchmark to measure the arts. (Point) Such practices may corrupt otherwise innocent hearts. Further, fear of politics and corruption that may get involved, might keep needy artisans away from government subsidy. (Explanation) Let’s take the case of “Khadi Udyog”, meaning cotton industry in India. Cotton weavers in India and their work are world famous. In fact, Mahatma Gandhi endorsed their art and tried to boost the home-grown industry. However, with the ever-tightening grip of bureaucracy and few rich weavers on this government initiative crippled the industry, forcing the majority of weavers into poverty. (Example)

Agreed the above arguments are convincing, it is imperative to note that, “no pain, no gain”. (Counterpoint) In fact, the government can, firstly, safeguard funding to arts through appropriate channels which are managed by artists themselves ensuring a clean system. Secondly, part of the funds can be lent as soft loans which are repayable with flexible terms. (Explanation) Marathi Film Industry in India is a prime example. For many decades, right from 1970’s, Marathi Cinema was accused of wasting government funds and defaulting soft-loans. However, this continuous support fructified in the new millennia as the new generation started experimenting with Marathi films which are appreciated worldwide. In fact, in last ten years, many official entries for Best Foreign Films from India for Oscars have been Marathi films. (Counter-example)

Looking back, the support from the government encourages artisans to create the best work and further encouraging youngsters to take up careers in arts. Although there are chances of failures, one must adopt a cautious approach in the distribution of the alms. (Summary) Hence, I believe precautionary methods of financial backing to artists truly help adoption of arts. (Position)


This essay may get around 4 out of 6 on GRE. There are too many examples and they may distract the reader. In the second body paragraph the author writes a bit too much about the losing side which may confuse the GRE reader. The words used are generally impressive but gives an impression that they are used unnecessarily.

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