Sample GRE Essay Prompt: On Tony LaRussa

In his Letter to Menoeceus, ancient philosopher Epicurus writes that a wise man “thinks it better to be unfortunate in reasonable action than to prosper in unreason. For it is better in a man’s actions that what is well chosen should fail, rather than that what is ill chosen should be successful owing to chance.”

Discuss the extent to which the above statement applies to recently retired manager Tony LaRussa and explain your reasoning for the position you take. In developing and supporting your position, you should consider ways in which the statement might or might not hold true and explain how these considerations shape your position. Also, meditate on the image embedded here and ask yourself — aloud, if you need to — if this is more likely the (a) best or (b) most absurd of all possible worlds.

You have 30 minutes for this section of the test.



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Carson Cistulli has just published a book of aphorisms called Spirited Ejaculations of a New Enthusiast.


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Sociology Degreeer
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Sociology Degreeer

Would you ask a lottery winner for monetary advice?

Yirmiyahu
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Yirmiyahu

So Epicurus thinks it’s better to be good than lucky.

Just as interesting as the fact that LaRussa somehow mis-managed his way to a World Series trophy is the fact that he has twice proven (2006, 2011) that the most mediocre team in the playoffs deserves to win the World Series.

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