The greatness of individuals can be decided only by those who live after them, not by their contemporaries.

Essay by smily1126High School, 12th gradeF, August 2007

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I am skeptical about speaker's assertion that the greatness of individuals can be only judged by those who live after them, not only by their contemporaries. Didn't Mark Twain become a famous novelist and a household name in his life time? Didn't Mozart's music gain people's appreciation in his short-lived 35 years? And didn't Albert Einstein obtain other scientists' identification when he created the theory of relativity?Admittedly, in the human history, there were many great persons didn't get his merited admiration in his contemporary era. But this phenomena is normal because sometimes the great man's achievement and theory totally exceed ordinary people's ability of understanding, even more some of them challenge the authority and tradition. Nicolaus Copernicus, the Poland astronomer and the father of modern astronomy, he didn't publish his theory of solar system until died, just because he was fear of inquisition's persecution. And Giordano Btuno who is the great Italy philosopher and ideologist, was executed by the inquisition because of insisting on Copernicus theory and criticizing the theology.

And in the past, the governor always advocated what he liked and destroyed what he disliked, especially, anything weakened his dominion. Additionally, in any eras of history, people's judgment may be affected by the political pressure and the direction of public opinion.

However, the particular evidences of history cannot prove today's condition. Everything changes. Along with society’s development and technology's advance, people's mind is more open than before, and people's knowledge is more advanced than predecessors. And a democratic society could support us an equal and unrestricted space to pursuit our dream, to advocate our assertion, and to fight for our rights. For example, American black leader, Martin Luther King who published the famous speech---"I have a dream" to 250 thousand people in front of the Lincoln memorial, he...