Examples: Statements of Perspective for Fictional Characters

For a more hands-on demonstration of how a statement of perspective can complement an application, we asked our team of 7Sage essay experts how they would approach advising a cast of familiar characters. 

Simba - While his internship at Timon & Pumbaa cemented his interest in environmental law, it was the early loss of his father that really set him on his path in the first place. Our lion prince should be careful about trauma-dumping, but an essay about how he overcame his self-recriminations after a personal tragedy would demonstrate the wise, comforting presence he’s sure to be on campus. My advice to him would be to skip the details of the dramatic stampede scene and focus instead on the uplifting part of the tale: the moment when he finally embraced his father’s legacy. 

Mulan - A great story, but a classic problem. Her account of being the only woman in the imperial army is really *the* tale she has to tell. It should 100% be the focus of her personal statement. For most schools, there’s no need to distract from such a great story with an extra essay. For applications where an additional statement of perspective is required, she can use it to zoom in on a different aspect of the story: maybe a longer take on how it will inform her future work in gender discrimination law. 

Gaston - Okay, this one is difficult. Rich, celebrated, and a bit of a villain, he really should just let his personal statement stand on its own. For schools where it’s required, he could get away with an essay about how he sharpened his leadership style on long hunting trips with the boys—but he’ll need help staying humble.

Ariel - The classic story of a fish out of water. There’s a lot here to work with—finding her voice, learning about a new culture, a difficult immigration tale. Her challenge will be to stay focused. Her personal statement, of course, is about understanding the dangers of a poorly worded contract. Her statement of perspective pairs a scene of her learning how to use her new legs with her insights about acclimating to a new society.

Aladdin - A first-generation college student who faced housing insecurity. He plans to go corporate and shouldn’t be afraid to say it. His early experiences with financial hardships still inform the can-do attitude he’ll bring to the table. My advice would be to establish the facts of his childhood situation frankly and with feeling, then focus the ending on the positive skills his background gave him.

Belle - Another classic problem. Her experience with the Beast did legitimately inform her dream of defending the unjustly persecuted, but she should be careful to remember that it’s his story. Often, the best way to avoid a possible negative interpretation of an essay is to address it. My advice is to be direct: explain that she knows that witnessing injustice is not the same as experiencing it, then focus on her part of the story—the actions she took to remedy or learn from the experience. 

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