Influences In The Other Wes Moore

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Influences in The Other Wes Moore People are born into certain circumstances. These circumstances are the foundation of the self, and later influences build on it. The initial circumstances of one’s life are an influence itself. Influences can be a determining factor in people’s lives, it can be the difference between success and failure, freedom and imprisonment, power and despair. This dynamic is demonstrated in the autobiography and biography of Westley Watende Omari Moore (hereinafter the author Wes), and Wesley John Moore (hereinafter the other Wes) respectively, recounted in The Other Wes Moore by Wes Moore. This book follows the lives of these two men with the same name, and compares them, showing how the author ended up as a Rhodes …show more content…

In each Wes’s life, their peers had indeed often influenced them for the worse. The peers from the environment the Weses grew up in had spread the customs, values, ideals, and generally the entire culture of that environment to them. This environment the Weses were born into were the streets of the Baltimore region in Maryland in the latter half of the 1970s. While by 1984 the author Wes and his family had moved in with their grandparents into the similar environment of the Bronx, New York, where his grandparents had a similar positive, protective influence on him as his mother, the other Wes for the most part remained in the Baltimore area. This environment is that of poverty, drugs, and crime, and its culture has formed from these conditions. The peers of the Weses have propagated this culture, and acted in ways that influenced them, spreading it to them. Among peers who expect one to do certain things, one is obligated to do such in peer pressure. In the environment of the Bronx, the author Wes’s peers from its impoverished streets expected him to act as they do. However, courtesy of his responsible mother, the author Wes was going to Riverdale Country School, a prestigious, predominantly white school in its respective island of affluence within the Bronx. Its environment was alien to Wes’s peers from the streets of the Bronx because it was one of wealth and prosperity. Coming from the streets of Baltimore himself, the author Wes had a hard time fitting in in this foreign environment. He was torn between the affluence of Riverdale and the delinquency of his Bronxite street crew. The peers of each side were dismayed by Wes’s association with the opposite side. When at Riverdale, Wes’s crew expected him to command respect and fear, and when interrogated by his crew about his life at Riverdale, Wes had to embellish a story about him

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