<p>Intellectuals in America and abroad have debated over the concept of success in American culture. Success can be defined quite differently by different people, but few people argue that being successful is not considered valuable. However, some people also advocate the view that something considered unsuccessful can also have some value.</p>
<p>Assignment: What is your view of the claim that something unsuccessful can still have some value? In an essay, support your position by discussing an example (or examples) from literature, the arts, science and technology, current events, or your own experience or observation.</p>
<pre><code>Unsuccessful ventures can have great value, even though sometimes it takes people many years to realize it. Some of our most important scientific advances have been found through failed experiments meant to create something entirely different. Throughout history, many works of art and literature have been considered unsuccessful at the time they were written, only to be later be rediscovered and acclaimed.
Aspartame, an artificial sweetener, is one example. A scientist was working in a laboratory on an experiment to create alternative treatments for ulcers. He accidentally spilled one of the chemicals he was working with on his hand. Later, when he licked his finger to turn a page in a book, he noticed his hand tasted particularly sweet. The scientist went back to the lab, and isolated the sweet chemical into aspartame. Even though his original experiment of treating ulcers was unsuccessful, through it, he was able to make one of the most important discoveries in the field of food science.
Another example is in art. Many artists whose works we consider today as genius found little success in their lifetimes. For example, Vincent van Gogh, a European painter who is today considered one of the greatest painters in recorded history, was considered a hack throughout his career. His paintings were junk, unable to be sold for more than a pittance, until many years after his death. Now, his works are highly valued treasures, many of them selling for millions and millions of dollars.
Through these examples, we can see that things considered unsuccessful often have value. Sometimes, society is just not ready to accept and understand things, and so rejects them. It is not until society is able to accept these ideas that it fully understands their value; and quite often, it's these "unsuccessful" things that are really the most successful of all.