AP English Language
Wes Moore Essay
French philosopher Jean Paul Sartre once said, “We are our choices.” Human beings make the choices that determine their fate and the person they become. Wes Moore, the author of The Other Wes Moore, explores this concept in his novel. Wes shows how their environment, education and societal expectations led them to the decisions that changed their lives.
While the environments that both boys grew up in were similar, there are key differences that influenced each Wes Moore into making different decisions later in their lives. The book begins with a discussion of their fathers; the author Wes Moore, although for a short time in his life, had a loving father who was involved and active. The other Wes Moore, however, had an alcoholic father who was absent his entire life, not bothering to get involved with his son. The second Wes Moore, unlike the author of this novel, never had a father figure and the only male role model he had was his elder brother who eventually dropped out of school to sell drugs. Both boys were also raised by their mothers but were raised in entirely different matters. Joy was a hardworking, strong and independent woman who had an education and grew up in a disciplined and structured environment. Joy was determined to provide the same for her three children, going as far as moving in with her parents and working multiple jobs to allow her children to go to private school instead of the failing public schools of the Bronx. Joy and Wes’ grandparents were strict and provided a stable household with high expectations and respect for rules and severe punishments for breaking those rules. For example, when Wes started to fail in school and did not improve his grades or his behavior his mother sent him to military school. Joy was a strict disciplinarian. Mary, the mother of the other Wes Moore, was not a strict disciplinarian and did not grow up in a stable environment. Mary’s mother died when...
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