Sample answer SAT Paragraph 1 & 2
Knowledge As a Burden
The attainment of knowledge has long been a goal that individuals have striven for, be it for the admiration and esteem of others or due to an honest, innate curiosity of the ways of the world. Knowledge, however, also has the power to destroy. Indeed, as the saying goes, “Ignorance is bliss,” and often times it is only once the pursuit of knowledge is achieved that one realizes they might have been better off without it. This notion has been illustrated throughout centuries of great literature, becoming timeless in the process. One work in particular is that of Sophocles’ “Oedipus Rex,” which tells the story of a king whose life is utterly ruined once he gains the knowledge of his fulfillment of a tragic prophecy. Another novel in which the concept of knowledge as a burden is especially poignant is that of Aldous Huxley’s “Brave New World,” which tells the story of a boy who grows up alienated from his society, with the only thing that keeps him going being the images of a beautiful, distant, other world that his mother has instilled in him. When he visits this other “better” world, however, he finds it utterly repellant, and the knowledge that he doesn’t, in fact, fit in anywhere drives him to suicide.
Sophocles’ masterpiece, “Oedipus Rex,” tells the story of a King who despairs over the chaos and suffering prevalent throughout his beloved kingdom. When told that it was due to his fulfillment of a tragic prophecy that states that he would murder his father and sleep with his mother, he is at first skeptical, but gradually comes to realize the prophecy’s truth and the fact that it had come to pass. This knowledge tears apart the very fabric of his once joyous life, as he realizes that his dear wife is in fact his mother, and his two daughters the products of incest. Perhaps even worse is his realization that he is in fact responsible for the suffering of his beloved subjects….