The Other Wes Moore

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  • Published : December 9, 2012
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Once upon a time, there were two boys who lived in the same neighborhood, with the same name and family situation, but ended up with totally different lives. Both boys grew up in impoverished neighborhoods with single moms. One of the boys grew up to be a successful decorated soldier and author. Wes’ mother, Joy, raised him as a well-disciplined boy sending him to military school. The other boy grows up selling drugs and taking part in several gangs, he later goes to jail for life after killing a veteran police officer in an armed robbery. His mother, Mary, on the other hand, had a more difficult punishing Wes because she was busy working multiple shifts to support her family. Mothers have different methods of raising their children, but they love them none the less, accurately identified by Pearl S. Buck, some mothers are more lenient while others make extreme decisions to insure the best for their kids. Some mothers give their children too much freedom, as correctly stated by Buck, and do not take responsibility for their children’s actions. In The Other Wes Moore, a memoir about two boys growing up in the same neighborhood; one mother is too tolerant and preoccupied with work; for that reason she cannot be the authoritarian parent essential to teach a strong lesson about experimenting with drugs and alcohol. Mary came home an hour after Wes, “The high had begun to wear off… Mary laughed, watching him squirm. ‘Well at least now you know how bad it feels and you will stay away from drinking,’” (61-2). Mary had the drugs in one of her dresser drawers, Wes found it looking for some spare change while Mary was at work. She looks past the fact that he was high because of her own foolishness and enjoys seeing her son feel shame, rather than talking to him about the dangers that come along with smoking weed and drinking. Mary is also too irresponsible to take responsibility for path of life she led her sons to. The narrator describes her reaction to finding Wes’ shoe...
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