GRE Essay: Most people prefer restrictions over freedom of choice


Most people prefer restrictions and regulations to absolute freedom of choice, although they would probably deny such a preference.

Although freedom of choice is an essential characteristic of any democratic society, I tend to agree with the speaker that most people prefer to follow certain regulations, rather than make decisions exclusively by themselves, considering infinite number of possible solutions. Being restricted by laws and rules a person could feel himself safer and be more satisfied with his life. Moreover, it’s impossible to have an absolute freedom of choice, living with other people.

The human being is a social creature because he could not survive without help of other people. At the same time any society imposes its own restrictions on an individual, which are necessary to maintain an order and to regulate interactions among its dwellers. As the result, we unable to have an absolute freedom of choice since all our deeds are restricted, more or less, by these common rules. Although one may suppose that I’m talking about an Orwellian society, I believe that only degree of such limitations varies from one community to another, not the basic principles. For instance, we could determine our future profession, based on our interests; but we are unable to decide whether to work or not.

Moreover, it’s very hard to have absolute freedom of choice. When a person has too many alternatives, he feels himself unhappy because he could not decide which choice is the best. Isn’t it better to have as many choices as possible? According to one market investigation, producers and sellers should artificially restrain abundance of different goods, because only in this situation of a narrow range of choice customers would be happy. In authoritative societies, freedom restrictions are imposed artificially by the government; in democratic ones they are determined by the common sense. Although, we have not certain regulations what to do after the completion of high school studies, we prefer to go at a University because this choice is the best, concerning our internal limitations.

Nevertheless, a lot of people try to show that they prefer absolute freedom of choice through their behavior and appearance. Different subcultures, from hippies to punks try to demonstrate that they are able to do everything, wearing strange clothes and separating themselves from other people. However, they also feel themselves more comfortable, following the restrictions of their own small communities; in actual fact these minorities prefer rules over freedom of choice as common citizenry do. Talking about freedom of choice, people often mean some minor liberties, like a possibility to watch certain TV channel or to buy certain goods. In my opinion, they simply mask their reluctance to have the true freedom of choice under these insignificant details.

Probably, we possess an absolute freedom of choice, but we could not realize it thoroughly because of external and internal restrictions. However, such regulations are not as bad as we may think; they help us to feel safely and spend our lives more pleasantly.


I think this essay addresses the task only partially, but on the other hand I would acknowledge that the test question has its flaws, so I wouldn’t worry too much about it. The text is fairly coherent and your vocabulary is good with only occasional errors. The main weakness I believe lies in grammatical accuracy; faulty article usage and other obviously faulty grammar could possibly affect the mark. As the test questions are written it would be more appropriate to refer to the writer rather than the speaker.

All the best