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Rolestorming: Equality of Opportunities in Modern Western Society

(Reflective essay)

(The character is a poor Chinese 40-year-old man who has left his home country in a quest for a better life, and immigrated to the U.S. All he carried with him was a single suitcase with his stuff; he got off the ship having about $50 in his pocket. He is a kind of handyman that people usually call “a jack of all trades,” single; he possesses a strong-willed character, is ironical and persistent. Knows English at an intermediate level, well enough for basic communication—but he has a strong Chinese accent. He expected to find a well-paid job, stability, and respect in the U.S., but even after 6 years spent in his new home, he could not overcome the wall of prejudice. His potential employers and people whom he got acquainted with treated him as a third-class citizen—not as a qualified worker.


Brief background: age, nationality, reasons for immigration and expectations from the destination country. Concisely introduce life and working conditions in a region which the character has left.

1st body paragraph

Personal experience. Living in cheap rooming houses while job hunting; being refused over and over again (reasons: poor English; absence of American certificate confirming a technical profession; employers do not accept Chinese certificates; one of the employers said that they do not provide immigrants with a job and would rather hire a worker of a Caucasian appearance; another employer mocked him and expressed doubts that a Chinese person could be a good handyman). Managed to settle down in the Chinatown of San Francisco. Works for a Chinese employer not far from home.

2nd body paragraph

Equality of opportunities is associated mostly with the local population, or at least white people. Reminds of the race segregation that existed in the U.S. until 1950s. Comparative statistics, percentage of white, black, and Asian people engaged in menial work and in prestige professions; white people have privileges. Analyze character’s negative experience, list several other examples which happened to character’s friends or acquaintances. Stress on the omission of the authorities in cases referring to immigrants—give examples. Imagine being a white American in an equal situation, and picture possible reactions of employers and officials.

3rd body paragraph

Are there any ways to stand for one’s rights in similar cases? What organizations can immigrants of other races address to help protect their rights? Can the situation be improved in general? List possible obstacles that an immigrant should be prepared for. Specify ways of overcoming these obstacles, used by a character. Express character’s opinion on the subject. Specify how such situations influence the international authority of the U.S., and government’s authority in the eyes of citizens. What do American citizens think of unfair attitudes towards immigrants?


Equality of opportunities is a rather vague concept. One cannot say that it does not exist at all, but at the same time it seems that is not available for everyone, especially if you are an immigrant of a different race.

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