The Summary of "The Other Wes Moore"
In the book, The Other Wes Moore it is difficult to believe the great similarities in the lives of the two Moores, who share a name and other aspects of life. The two were raised fatherless and were born in the late 1970’s in the neighborhood of Baltimore, Maryland. They also happen to have encountered similar experiences when growing up, but at one point one of them became a criminal and the other a scholar (the author of the book). The author of the book seems to be interested in the similarities of the two boys as opposed to their different experiences. The story is interesting and makes one imagine what would have become of the writer if he did not by any chance come across the people who guided him.
Moore introduces the book, explaining that it is the story of two men born in Baltimore with the same name: Wes Moore. While one of them grows up to achieve great success, the other will spend the rest of his life in prison. The book will examine the decisions that shape our destiny and highlight how easy it is for our lives to take an entirely different direction. While Moore himself won a Rhodes Scholarship while studying at Johns Hopkins University, the other Wes was imprisoned along with his older brother, Tony, for his involvement in a robbery that led to the murder of an off-duty police officer named Sergeant Bruce Prothero. The lives of the two Wes Moores could not be more similar or more different. On paper, they could be mistaken for the exact same person; yet their destinies are practically caricatures of success and failure. Moreover, during the point at which the author Moore discovers the other Wes, his successful life is only just beginning, as he has just been awarded the Rhodes Scholarship. Wes’s life, on the other hand, has already been cut short, as he will spend the rest of it in prison. Two years after discovering the story of the other Wes, Moore cannot stop thinking about him, even though he isn’t the type of person to usually become obsessed by coincidences. He quotes a passage from John Edgar Wideman’s Brothers and Keepers, in which the author describes feeling a sudden, renewed sense of connection to his brother after discovering he is on the run from the police. Moore finds it strange that he feels this same sense of connection, considering that he and Wes have never even met. However, he ultimately decides to write Wes a letter asking him about himself and his life. Moore feels uncertain about whether this was the right decision until he receives a letter from Wes that begins, “Greetings, Good Brother,” and contains answers to Moore’s questions. The connection Moore feels toward Wes is mysterious and instinctive, similar to the ties between real family members. Despite having nothing to do with Wes’s life, Moore feels personally implicated in his fate and curious about how their lives turned out so differently. Rather than seeing Wes simply as a criminal who committed an unforgiveable act of violence, Moore feels desperate to understand the choices Wes made that caused his life to turn out this way. By addressing Moore as “Brother,” Wes mirrors the same sense of fraternal connection (while also using the language of his new Islamic faith). After this initial contact, the men continue to exchange letters, and eventually Moore begins visiting Wes in prison. Moore is astonished to learn of further parallels between their lives, and feels that their discussions illuminate “the larger story of our generation of young men.” Although Moore never lets himself forget that Wes committed a “heinous crime,” he believes that together they can make a positive contribution to the world by creating a project that would help people understand how life is shaped by certain key decisions. Moore spends hundreds of hours interviewing Wes and his friends and family, along with Moore’s own friends and family. In addition, he consults “teachers and drug dealers, police officers and lawyers” in order to establish the objective facts of both his and Wes’s lives.
Wes Moore, his hewing, is the person who lived in the same neighborhood as the author of the story, he went the same school, and it can be said that he experienced all the life troubles on the path of the formation of his personality as the author did. However, some factors had played their roles making their fates so different. The influence of parents was one of the factors. Although the author of the story experienced hard way of growing up living in Bronx, the inner intelligence of his mother helped him to choose the right path in life. He says that “when my mom first landed in the Bronx, she was just a small child, but she was a survivor and learned quickly” (Moore 8). His mother managed to become integrated into the lifestyle of Americans. Undoubtedly, her education and the way of children rising made a great contribution to the future destiny of her son. The other Wes Moore did not have the support of relatives. He was actually on his own in the life battle. This made him embittered. However, not only social isolation and the lack of help were the roots of his misfortunes but also the absence of the guide for the right path in life. The author summarizes the message of his book by the words of Samuel Beckett who said, “Try again. Fail again. Fail better” (Moore 185). These words represent the guide which the other Wes Moore did not obtain in his childhood and teenage. The author thinks that these words represent “the ebb and flow of life itself” (Moore 185). He says, “Failing doesn’t make us a failure. But not trying to do better, to be better, does make us fools” (Moore 185).In my opinion, the book should be read by teenagers because they are in the age when they have to choose the right path in life and make their choice consciously. As the resident of New York City, I know how different this city is and I can imagine how difficult it is to choose the right path and to become the architect of your own fortune when you live in the unfortunate neighborhood. The message which Wes Moore gives to us in his book represents the right model for life. In summary, The Other Wes Moore: One Name ,Two Fates is a very interesting story which I will advice to read everyone. The plot of the book makes it clear how important the help of others is for our well-being and, what is more important, how important it is to be a strong-willed personality being able to overcome the life failures.
To summarize, the author returns to Baltimore to take up his chance at Johns Hopkins University to complete his undergraduate degree. Additionally, he is offered an internship by Mayor Schmoke of the high probability of Wes becoming a Scholar in Rhodes. Wes had a nice experience in South Africa getting enlightened on the issues of apartheid. Even though he did not have a privileged upbringing in the Bronx, the state of poverty for those in South Africa cannot get anywhere close to his experience. The host family insisted to him the need to focus on the results of the process as opposed to the experience itself. After spending time in South Africa, Wes completed his Master’s degree in Oxford. He worked together Condoleezza Rice in the Department of Homeland Security and then had a stint at Wall Street. After that, Wes worked for the U.S. Army while in Afghanistan. That took several months. That is the synopsis of the story.
Moore, Wes. The Other Wes Moore: One Name ,Two Fates, New York: Random House Publishing Group, 2010. Print.