The Other Wes Moore Themes, Motifs, Symbols
Identity Because the author ended up being wrapped up in a story about another guy with a similar background and name, the examination of the other Wes Moore then, by comparison and contrast, became an evaluation of himself. The story likewise ponders the impacts of race, area, socioeconomic status, family and community on an individual’s identity, in addition to the labels and/or status that gets attached to an individual as they move through their lives: delinquent, Rhodes Scholar, daddy, soldier.
The important question the book attempts to respond to is why these 2 men had such different lives, and by examining these factors that contribute to the person’s future, it presents a clearer image of the entire individual as a summary of these “parts”, characters aside. Choices vs. Fate Crucial to Moore’s point and “call to action” is the notion that there are turning points and choices in a person’s life that sets him/her on a particular trajectory.
This is what makes the subtitle of the book bothersome (“one name, 2 fates”) due to the fact that the addition of “fate” indicates that the Wes Moores’ lot in life was destined and set without their stir. However, the author argues that there were intentional options made in his life (some without his control) that were important in the distinction between himself and the other Wes Moore. He is clear to argue in the Afterword that it isn’t necessarily one minute or option that figures out a person’s success, rather a series of points or crossroads.
By following the stories of both males, an observer could identify essential differences in the options the males made that made their courses so various from one another. Due to the fact that their background was so similar and yet their outcomes so various shows that it was the choices they made in their lives that was their determination. Power of Mentors/Influential People Wes Moore thinks that if there is one thing that sets him and the other Wes Moore apart was that he had people in his life “who kept pressing [him] to see more than what was directly in front of [him].
The forced re-location to military school, although not his option, existed due to the fact that of the belief his family had in a successful future. He argues that “young kids are most likely to think in themselves if they understand that there’s someone, somewhere, who shares that belief”; this becomes part of his charitable work. In the paperback edition of the book he includes numerous pages of different mentorship companies that might possibly be the one difference in a young adult’s life that might indicate fulfillment or dissatisfaction.
Place vs. Frame of mind Near the end of the book, Wes confesses that the relocate to various places were not what made the difference in his life, however that he had a modification in “believing”. He was offered a few much better opportunities based on “place” (more affluent private school then military school) but it was just until he embraced what was being offered to him that he made favorable and purposeful choices in his life.
By contrast, the other Wes Moore was given a possibility to develop crucial skills and start a new life for himself after going into Task Corps, however he couldn’t remain there permanently. He needed to make the mindful choice to continue with the “legal, more secure” life beyond its walls, but alas, didn’t. It is also implied that the other Wes Moore believed he was a product of his environment and others’ expectations and this sort of discovered vulnerability suggests he permitted his place to identify his life, rather than his own choices.