GMAT Essay Topic 568 - "Public buildings reveal much about the attitudes and values of the society that builds them. Today's new schools, courthouses, airports, and libraries, for example, reflect the attitudes and values of today's society." Discuss the extent to which you agree or disagree with the opinion stated above. Support your views with reasons and/or examples from your own experience, observations, or reading.
Author: Desertrose | Date: June 8, 2010 | Score:4.5 | => 5 or 6 Essays, Click Here <=
public building reveals the values of the society
I generally agree that public building reveal much about values of that society. When one pays attention to the differences between buildings and structures in various countries he/she will admit that many important structures in a society are built in a way clearly different from such structures in another society, these differences cannot be random.
For example, airports or schools or museums in a country might have prayer rooms for different religions, apart from the religion of majority of people, it can be concluded that in such countries In such counties the belief and opinion of all is respected. Various facilities for handicaps are sign of a culture that wants equality for everyone. As another example, a country caring about the health of its people provides facilities that help them in becoming healthier citizens. Clean toilet facilities or equipped emergency and first aid rooms can be a sign of such value. This being said, more insightful investigation is needed to understand the reason behind some differences in structures of various nations. Why one nation is obsessed with having stairs and another with flat structure. Why in one place building are made of see-through glasses where in another place they almost never build such structure.
Having mentioned all the above, there are times when structures represent values of the governments apart from what people value. This usually happens in non democratic countries, where the values of the society contrast with the values of its government. For example, if the people are careless about religion and do not value it but the government is a religious one. The existence of prayer rooms in every building does not reflect attitude of people. Instead people might be using those rooms as a place to rest in instead of pray in.
In conclusion, although this might not be true in short run, structures of a society reveal something about the attitude and beliefs of its people eventually. If there some functions in structures are not desirable, they will be destroyed or at least not preserved. Therefore in long run buildings can be an indicator of what people value. However acquiring deeper knowledge on such issue needs thorough study and research.