TOEFL Sample Essay - 4

Religious leaders do not have the right to persecute authors, for their literary productions. Writers hold up a mirror to society and hence, persecuting them means, certain sections of society are not ready to accept the truth.

Freedom of speech is a fundamental right, which is granted by the constitutions, of the democratic nations of the world. Freedom to pen one's opinions can be considered to be an extension of this right. Authors enjoy a greater level of freedom, when it comes to their writings, because they have what is considered to be a 'poetic license'. Often they introduce inflections common to their native language, bend the rules of grammar, to ensure that the reader understands his/her perspective. While writing, the author may stridently discuss his/her opinions regarding a religion or religious beliefs of certain sections of society.

Religion is considered to be sacrosanct and religious leaders cannot be reprimanded. This freedom often corrupts the leaders and they indulge in anti-social, inhuman activities in the name of religion. Authors like Salman Rushdie dared to raise his pen and create a social opinion against such "religious activities". However, as a result, he had to flee his homeland, once his book the 'Satanic Verses' was published. The book was banned in most nations and it is only recently that the ban has been lifted.

Literature is considered to be the reflection of society. Authors with their innate talent and sense of perception provide the reader with an insight into the society we live in. Their task is not simple! They have to be honest while writing and at the same time keep the reader interested. Certain sections of society may not understand the sub-text of their literary production. Or else they might not be ready to accept, that the society they live in, is riddled with such glaring problems. Nevertheless, instead of persecuting the author, the leaders must learn to accept the truth. Authors are the ones helping them identify the problems, which otherwise would remain undetected and unsolved.