The Other Wes Moore Character Analysis

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The upbringing of a child contains many factors, many of which correlate to where a child grows up. The people, culture, and experiences of someone’s childhood are the greatest determining factor for what kind of person they will become. So how does the nature and nurture of one’s upbringing impact the decisions that they make, and their life in general? Author Wes Moore explores this question in his memoir, The Other Wes Moore, as it relates to two lives in particular. Moore main purpose in this book is to explore the overarching impact that a collection of expectations and decisions, not always one’s own, can have on someone’s life. The Other Wes Moore chronicles the author’s life in comparison to another man, also from Baltimore, whose…show more content…
Moore exhibits how, “… few lives hinge on any single moment or decision or circumstance,” and that there was not defining difference between him and the incarcerated man who shares his name (182). The main difference between him and the other Wes Moore is the collection of family, culture, and experience that Moore had in his upbringing. His mother and grandparents, by providing structure and the opportunity to go to private and military school, “… made it clear that they cared if [he] succeeded, and eventually so did [he]” (115). His mother and grandparents, through their constant attempts to keep Moore looking beyond his seemingly hopeless future, created expectations for him that he would ultimately want for himself. On the other hand, the other Wes Moore never seemed to have any meaningful expectations that he could seek. Even though his brother was too deep into drug and gang culture to escape, “[he] wanted Wes to be nothing like him” (72). Yet, Wes was consumed by the, “… same game that had consumed [his brother] and put a bullet or two in him,” and had never known anything in his family outside of drugs and gang violence, so drugs and gangs were the only expectation Wes had, the only place he saw himself fitting into (58). Ultimately, the expectations of those…show more content…
Rawls states that equality of opportunity represents, “… the background institutions of social and economic justice,” that help those who are most disadvantaged (Rawls 288). Through his own story, Moore displays how education allows those who come from essentially nothing can achieve success. It gives, “… a reason to believe that a story of struggle apathy, and pain… can still have a happy ending,” (Moore 183). Rawls also believes in the, “… equal opportunities of education for all regardless of family income” (Rawls 286). Both see education not only as providing knowledge for all people, but also resources and role models, as the most direct and effective method for creating greater social equality within a
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