BlueBook Practice Test #2's prompt:
"Do changes that make our lives easier not necessarily make them better?"
There are myriad varieties of change. Some make our lives more difficult, while some offer to ease our hardships. However, changes that appear to make our lives easier do not always make our lives better. History and literature are filled with anecdotes that affirm that technology, the definition of which is "something that makes it easier for us to perform a task," sometimes make life more arduous or simply worse.
Ralph Waldo Emerson once wrote and published a list of his Transcendental maxims. He said that "the man who gains the coach loses the use of his feet," basically meaning that what one does not use will deteriorate, weaken, and eventually become useless. This applies to modern times as well. We all use cars to transport us to our destinations, and this is a part of the growing obesity problem. Our bodies get weaker, though cars are convenient and make our lives easier. However, becoming weaker certainly indicates the opposite of our lives' becoming "better."
Before the Civil War that tore the United States apart, slavery was dwindling around the beginning of the 19th century. Eli Whitney wanted to improve the lives of those who were still slaves, so he invented the cotton gin, a quick, efficacious way to separate the seed from the fiber. However, this had the opposite effect. Now that cotton was so efficiently able to be produced, most southern plantation owners purchased more slaves to do a greater amount of work. Human chattels operated the gins at all hours to produce a steady flow of cash for their masters. Slaves' lives were infinitely worsened by technology that made their work easier.
by Joseph Heller, the protagonist, Yossarian, is an officer of a bomber squadron. Recruited mens' duties were supposed to be alleviated by the opportunity of aviation school because pilots and bombers would not have to face the enemy directly. However, Yossarian and his fellow aviators find that this is not the case. They have to fly through dangerous bursts of flak (anti-aircraft fire), and they have to do it often, as their commanding officer relentlessly raises the number of combat missions that they have to fly. The World War II aviators may have thought that piloting would be easier than infantry duties, but they discovered that aviation had its fair share of danger and peril as well. The introduction of bomber plans did not change soldiers' lives for the better.
Technology's very definition may be "something that makes our tasks easier," but what is omitted is that it does not always make our lives better. History and literature provide plenty of examples that show when technology even ends up filling our lives with more travails. Changes that supposedly make our lives easier do not always make them better.
If you doubt that I finished this in 25 minutes, you are right to do so. But I am more concerned with quality because it's easy to practice completing the essay faster but not as easy to improve its quality.
Thanks in advance for your help!