Junot Diaz shares his experience of privileges he was able to have due to the place he immigrated to. The author establishes a problem within a nation and hints at the disproportion of equality in the United States.

A team is only as good as its weakest link. Author Junot Diaz shined a light the disproportionate inequality in America as he claimed a nation is defined by how they treat their most marginalized areas. Equality must be present throughout a nation to ensure its strength and foundation.

Diaz, an immigrant from the Dominican Republic, experienced the opportunities presented to him due to his location. If he would have immigrated to a different state or stayed in his country he might have never became a writer. His use of public institutions such as a library helped him grow and be able to read, write, and get past cultural boundaries. Diaz was able to succeed due to his environment.

However, the land of opportunity is not true to its title. The United States has areas where citizens struggle to have the same privileges citizens in bigger cities would have. For example in Dumas, Arkansas, there is no internet access and people can only get phone services in certain areas of the town. The digital literacy of Dumas is similar to that of a developing country, even though Dumas is in the United States. Consequently, the people in Dumas have fewer job opportunities and get paid less. 

As Diaz put it, "You know who you are and what your values are by how they play out at your farthest farthest edges." The United States is not treating all its areas equally, which undermines the country as a whole. Nations throughout the world cannot afford to be disproportionate as it is integral for its success to be intact. 

Students responded to the prompt: In 2016, Dominican-American author Junot Diaz observed, “As a nation, you don’t know yourself because of what you’re doing in the heart of your power. You know who you are and what your values really are by how they play out at your farthest farthest edges.” Diaz claims that nations reveal who they are by how they treat their most marginalized areas. Write an essay that argues your position on the extent to which Diaz’s claims are valid. Use appropriate examples from your reading, experience, or observations to support your argument.

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