IELTS May 2018 Essay: Old Age vs Youth.

In some cultures, the old age is more valued, while in others youth is more valued. Discuss both views and give your opinion.

40 minutes, 250 words at least.


REMEMBER: The context of this essay is CULTURE.

Introduction: (MENTION the reasons supporting each view and STATE your opinion)

A few cultures allocate a higher value to the elderly people since they have an extensive experience of various social systems while others give more importance to the youth since it has more energy and a potential to lead a community. I think both young and old have expertise in different domains and they should be valued accordingly.

Body Paragraph 1: (Why the elderly are MORE important)

It is evident that the old people have a deeper understanding of social systems. They have spent a lifetime in a culture and, thus, have a deep knowledge of various rituals, customs, and traditions. Preserving these elements of society is extremely important to maintain a unique cultural identity of a community. Otherwise, with the onslaught of western food, clothing, and language, people will lose their unique existence and will be assimilated into the western culture. For instance, while youngsters in India prefer wearing jeans and consume junk food at McDonald’s, the elderly preserve the Gujarati, Punjabi and Tamil traditional dresses and food. Youngsters realize the importance of these items once they enter the mid-age.

Body Paragraph 2: (Why youngsters are MORE important)

On the other hand, youngsters have tremendous energy and can assume a leadership role to lead a culture in a new direction. The elderly members of a community are sometimes too rigid and resist any necessary change. The elderly often preserve some decadent cultural norms that are injurious to the society. These are transformed only once the youth is given the power to introduce a positive change. For instance, in the 20th century, a deplorable tradition of Sati, in which a woman was burnt alive on the pyre of her husband, was practiced in India. The old people were staunchly in support of this tradition. However, the young leaders such as Jawaharlal Nehru enlightened the people gradually and the tradition is considered an anathema today.


In conclusion, I believe that a society needs the guidance of the elderly in a few areas and the youth’s energy to transform in other domains. While the former is needed to maintain status quo in positive areas, the latter helps in eliminating the decadent norms.

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