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October 1, 2014

Homework Help: SAT Essay

Posted by Sahil on Tuesday, August 19, 2008 at 10:30pm.

Question: Is honesty always the best policy?

Of the widely accepted list of human virtues, many consider honesty to be the prevalent one. It is considered to be a necessary component of any respected person's personality. Yet literature has shown that this may not always be the best choice. I strongly believe that honesty is not always the best policy and to see this we must look no further than Atlas Shrugged(underlined) by Ayn Rand, 1984(underlined) by George Orwell, and The Picture of Dorian Gray(underlined) by Oscar Wilde.
Hank Rearden is a massive and influential industrialist who witnesses the withdrawal of good from society. He starts to indulge into all of his desires in search of pleasure, finding himself a mistress in the process. Keeping this from his family and the world, he chooses to lead a radically different life. As a single man, he must keep everyone in his life satisfied through crafted lies. Though this is a retaliation against his inner moral values, he must bend the truth for the benefit of all.
Similarly to Hank Rearden, Winston Smith from Orwell's 1984(underlined) is tired down to a dystopian society lacking the freedom that he comes to desire. He also starts a second life but here it is the oppressor, the government otherwise known as Big Brother that is kept in the dark and lied to. Though he risks execution, the lies Winston is forced to utter are beneficial in keeping him alive. Honest would have killed him in the end.
Unlike Winston, Dorian does not face the prospect of death because of his lies in Wilde's The Picture of Dorian Gray(underlined) Dorian's one secrets is that he is living under an enchantment, watching his sins and his age take effect upon his portrait rather than on him. He does not allow this to be known, resorting to lies and murder for protection. These drastic measures are standing proof of his ability to realize that honesty is not the best policy.
Human nature has created the necessity for lies. Th age old honesty policy has been nullified in today's world, and will likely remain that way for the foreseeable future.

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