Skip to main content Skip to footer content

Livingston Mombeleur

America: A Land of Equal Opportunities or Not?

By: Livingston Mombeleur

Is America a place of equal opportunity, or not? Different people have different points of views when it comes to this matter. Langston Hughes and Erma Motton are two different people, which gave their opinions on this. They helped prove their opinions using several literary devices and discussing reasons why they feel this way.

Langston Hughes believes that America is not a place of equal opportunities. In "Let America be America Again," Hughes shows that he believes there is no freedom for the poor, for the blacks, or for immigrants. The literary device Hughes uses is irony. Irony is used when he says, in lines 49 and 50, "and torn from the black Africa's strand, I came to build a homeland of the free." What Hughes means by this is he never would have thought that he'd be taken from his homeland country to come to a country that is supposed to be free and do slave work building the country he's supposed to be free in.

Erma Motton, on the other hand, believes differently than Langston Hughes. Motton believes that America is definitely a place of equal opportunities. If a person is not doing so well in life, they should not blame anyone but themselves for it. She believes this because she grew up poor, and she was still able to pick up on her life and make things better for herself and for her family. Mottons says "I'm tired of being kicked in the teeth...people saying you don't deserve the fulfillment of life, being a mother." What Motton is trying to say is that even though there are people in a higher status of life that tries to bring her down, she is still motivated and capable of doing the same things as them.

Langston Hughes and Erma Motton have two completely different opinions when it comes to America being a place of equal opportunity. Both have their opinions based on their experiences throughout their lives. Hughes has not yet been able to receive opportunities to better himself. There on the other hand, Erma Motton has received opportunities, or at least found them.

Is America a place of equal opportunities, or not? This questions answer depends on each person individually. The way a person is brought up and the experiences of the person is what makes them believe that America is or is not a place of equal opportunities. People have their own definition of what equal opportunities are.