Character Analysis: The Other Wes Moore

1158 Words5 Pages
Where we’re from, who we know, and how our mental makeup is, is very important in our lives. It can be the deciding factor between life in prison and a life dedicated to giving back to others. In The Other Wes Moore, The lives of two young men are examined through three distinct lenses, how the role our environment, social capital (How we get ahead by helping each other) and how our mindset can dictate who we become later on in life. Both of these young men grew up in roughly the same environment, the ghettos of Baltimore, Maryland and the Bronx, New York, respectively. It’s interesting to note that while Author Wes was able to avoid the pitfalls of said environment because of the benefits social capital and a strong growth mindset…show more content…
Wes didn’t start off on the right path initially, due to the friends he surrounded himself with such as shea, a young drug runner, and the low standards he set for himself academically, which Author Wes mentions that he was “disappointed with D’s, pleasantly satisfied with C’s and celebratory about a B I allowed my standards at school to become pathetic” (Moore 54). He allowed a fixed mindset of mediocrity along with his environment to almost determine his life path. Without social capital, Author Wes Moore would’ve been doomed for failure but the intervention by his mother, a few of her friends and his grandparents, he was able to attend Valley Forge Military Academy where he was able to benefit from the effects of social capital from his superiors and peers in the form discipline, comradery and leadership. From there, he totally changed his perspective as he developed a growth mindset which was fairly evident when he realized that basketball wasn’t in his long term plans; Wes states “When you step on the court with players like Kobe Bryant or six foot eight point guards who can dunk from the free throw line, your mind begins to concentrate on other options” (Moore 130), that moment of clarity showed the benefits of social capital and a strong growth mindset. Another instance of social capital being beneficial in Author Wes Moore’s life is when he was granted a scholarship to attend John Hopkins University. Due to his Military school experience, overall admirable progress in life and the right connections, he was able to speak with the assistant director of admissions via his advisor at Valley Forge Junior College. Now, this instance of social capital would be lost on some but not Author Wes Moore, he states; “having an advocate on the inside -someone who had gotten to know me and understood my story on a personal
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