TOEFL essay: what means equality for the British?


I have to do an essay and I would appreciate if you could tell me if the the sentences are grammatically correct. :slight_smile:

The topic is: The British poet and essayist Matthew Arnold (1822-1888) once wrote:
“As to the duty of pursuing equality, there is no such consent among us. Indeed, the consent is the other way, the consent is against equality. Equality before the law we all take as a matter of course; that is not the equality which we mean when we talk of equality. When we talk of equality, we understand social equality; and for equality in this Frenchified sense of the term almost everybody in England has a hard word”.
Discuss this opinion in intercultural terms and illustrate your view with concrete examples :

There is a tension in Western society between people who think that everyone should have legal equality and people who think that we have to make people equal in every way. Most English people share the first view whereas most of the French share the second one.

First, English people are more comfortable with social inequality. This difference can find it origin in both their main religions. Most British are Protestants and there is a low power distance between God and themselves. They talk directly with God and know that they have been chosen. Therefore, the concept of inequality is accepted by the majority. On the contrary, most French are Catholics and their relationship with God pass by the Church. The French belief is that “every man is equal in front of God”. So, they have applied that ideal in society and as a result, social equality has become a strong French value.

Then, British people consider equality as equality before the law. We can discuss this point considering equality inside education and work. In England, it is enough to provide equal opportunity and equal treatment under the law to people, and to protect everyone’s rights. Through work and education, it results as the right for anyone to apply for some studies or some jobs. The selection doesn’t depend on origins, race, gender or the belonging to a particular group. It is forbidden by the law.
In France, it’s the government’s job to make sure that everyone is equal; that no one is richer or poorer than anyone else, that no one has more success than anyone else. For instance, when a chief executive wants to fire an employee because of his incompetence, he has to pass by a lot of arguments cause of the French legislation laws. Actually, the most productive or skilled employees are not recruited for that reason. Another example can be illustrated by some schools with problems called the ZEP. There are numerous pupils who are not interested in study and who are nothing but trouble for the other. Thus, serious pupils can miss great opportunity to pursue in Higher Schools.
So, several attempts to achieve social equality can end up punishing society’s most productive people. In my opinion, most British think that social equality is impossible to achieve, because people have different gifts and abilities, and some have more motivation than others.

Another aspect concerns attitudes towards money which shows that social inequality doesn’t mind British people. Indeed, people talk freely about money, and it represents a sign of merit. Those who have a lot of money have more merit than the other.
In France, the money subject is taboo during conversation and several taxes exist in order to generate social equality. It provides a social security that French prefer because of their uncertainty avoidance attitude. The French government follows this trend and makes egalitarian laws like welfare or the redistribution of incomes.

To conclude, most British have a very different point of view of equality than the French. They consider that equality before the law is sufficient and doesn’t believe in the benefits of social equality unlike the French.

Thank you very much


TOEFL listening discussions: Why does the student need money?