The Other Wes Moore Essay

1663 words - 7 pages

“The Other Wes Moore”
The story of two men growing up in the same neighborhood with similar backgrounds with the same name and eerily similar circumstances that leads and ultimately has each character ending up in very different places in life. Taking completely different paths to their futures is the setting of this story “The Other Wes Moore”. The way a person is shaped and guided in their developmental years does unquestionably play a huge role in the type of person they will become in life. The author Wes does a good job of allowing you the ability to see this story and the circumstances surrounding the importance his mother Joy provided, as well as meaning in his success, while comparing the role of Mary the other Wes’s mother. Both boys grew up with strong, hardworking black women in their lives and yet it still allowed for two completely different journeys. I think the lack of a father and having not so good male role models was also a contributing factor in the journey in which the “other Wes” took.
Just after Wes Moore learned he'd won a Rhodes scholarship in late 2000, he also learned about another Wes Moore, who would soon be sentenced to life in prison for his role in a failed attempt at a jewelry store robbery that resulted in the death of an off-duty police officer. The stories of both Wes Moore’s were reported in the Baltimore Sun. Wes Moore the achiever was so unnerved by the coincidence that it led him to eventually write a letter to the other Wes Moore, the prisoner. The resulting correspondence led to a journey of discovery and friendship which plays out for the reader in this novel. Wes Moore the author was compiled to know more, much more, a lot of elements come into play throughout the story that helps outline what can determine a person’s success or failure but at the end of the day the most important factor is a person’s choices. Studies have proven that children in areas of poverty are far less likely to aim for the same success as students in affluent neighborhoods, but is that an excuse?
The author Wes Moore and the imprisoned Wes Moore faced almost identical environmental challenges and obstacles growing up in some rough parts of Baltimore, Maryland. The differences that landed these two on opposite ends of the spectrum were personal choices in my opinion. Wes Moore the author made the choice to not become a victim of circumstance while the other Wes did not. The story is explained by paralleling the lives of Wes, the author living an extraordinary life of success and accomplishment, and the other Wes, the prisoner serving a life sentence; the reader is able to come to their own conclusions as to why each life took the turns it did. That was one of the reasons I enjoyed this novel, Wes the author allowed the reader a certain amount of freedom to discover the why behind the journey of each man throughout his path in life. I felt as though this was an important element in gaining not only the trust of the author but...

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