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Wes Moore Comparative Essay

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The Other Wes Moore is a tale of to young boys growing up within the streets of Baltimore. Both kids fatherless, facing the struggles of poverty and the criticisms of the black community. These individuals grew up to be very different and the circumstances around them concerning society and interactions within the community helped raise each kid to be who they are. In the studies of sociology many people would look at the outside relations. Gangs, the lack of schooling. Even the influence of many liquor and gun stores. These influence people and the way the two Wes Moore’s grew up in this novel. Putting outside forces upon a growing mind, either steering it in the right direction or as the book shows this can lead to gloomy life. On the other hand, in an ethical perspective, these two kids intentions can be examined and how the neighborhood they grew up in tends to play a role in their actions. These two perspectives are similar in a sense, in that the ghetto and community around them cause problems and either drive someone to become something or lose their life within the temptations of evil. The book shows two different perspectives and gives a clear idea of how our surroundings compel people to act. Whether it is good or bad each person is influenced through out their lives bringing them up to be the individual they are.

Both Wes Moore’s grew up in low-income neighborhoods. Hanging out on corners, watching the way the community around them worked to live with the struggles this area in America’s society worked. Many of these communities are immersed in a lot of crime and violence. Each Wes Moore can be seen through out the book trying to fit in fit in with the surrounding community at a young age. Experimenting with different things and “The check-cashing stores instead of banks, the rows of beauty salons, liquor stores, Laundromats, funeral homes, and their graffiti-laced walls were the universal streetscape of poverty.” (153, Moore) As it can be seen the streets of Baltimore and other ghettos around this time had little to offer, usually an unhealthy and regretful culture. Many kids and young adults see and experience these bad things that influence the way they act, which can bring them to jail or in
worse cases result in death. Friends and family in these situations are very significant in these cases as well. Friends especially and “your school affiliation was essential. Even if you weren’t running the coolest clique, you still got a percentage of your rep from your school” (49, Moore). When branching out and finding ones place in society affiliation with different groups of people impact the way we act. The Older Wes Moore chose to go down the wrong route and can be seen at the end in jail for choosing expensive watches and jewelry over a Baltimore Officer. The way drugs, violence and hostility guided him into the position he is in now shows how society can corrupt a young mind.

In an ethical perspective things are quite different but have similar aspects in the way the ghetto and bad surroundings act. The author Wes shows through out the book how one can change their actions. Being a esteemed war veteran, college graduate, and more he has gone above and beyond moving from a poor life into a very influential person in society. As he failed prep school he was forced into a different life and had to find new intentions. As he continued through out military school he slowly rose to be a better person. “His quick success had Wes thinking differently about his life. He proudly displayed his new diploma at home…Many other students were now looking to Wes for help with their GED prep, for assistance with their personal issues, and for friendship. Just as he had on the corners of Baltimore, Wes became a leader.” (142, Moore) As kids in the bad neighborhoods these two grew up with things that are bad but the author shows how, like sociology, your surroundings can influence ones intentions. Wes after school and success showed himself how he can become a better person with good effort and after seeing accomplishment knew he should act with morally correct actions. He took advantage of helping others in this instance and wanted to make someone better out of others like he did himself. This change in surroundings and society in the author’s life gave opportunity to choose a different path and act with good morals. In the other side of society the older Wes Moore shows the life with un-moral intention, continuing a life submerged in drug use, and violence. As he began to dig deeper into the wicked side of life Wes could be seen being selfish and very egotistical. As the drug game became a close friend of Wes’s he soon became less worried about others including
family and the good of all people and more concerned about his needs. Losing a good amount at one point he “had completely forgotten about his conspiracy argument. The only thing on his mind was trying to figure out how on earth he was going to come up with four thousand dollars – and fast.” (74, Moore) This evil brought upon the older Wes gave him the ideas to be set on his wealth and self-image. Caring less about the effects the drugs and anarchy had on his mother and family. The ethical view can be seen through each kids motive to do either good or bad to themselves and others. On the worse side Wes acted unmorally with selfish actions disregarding the thoughts of those around him. On the cleaner side Wes seemed to be grateful for the opportunities given and gave back to the community that saved him. Like sociology outside influence can effect the way we act but how each individual deals with the pressure is how they act ethically.

The two sides shown in this book give explanation of how society and the people within act toward each other and themselves. From both an ethical and sociological perspective the community and ghetto neighborhoods shown in the book influence the way these kids act. The way this community helps each kid grow up and end up in life is where sociology comes in hand. Deeper into that, the way each individual takes up these circumstances forms what motives and intentions they have. Whether it be good like the esteemed war veteran. Or on the other hand like Wes the drug dealer who now proceeds in jail, each person chooses if they are ethical and morally correct. Wes Moore tells a very detailed tale of how the hood of Baltimore drove him to become the respected man he is. He chose the right decisions and indented to help others giving him a positive perspective. Along with that the older Wes Moore could not overcome the pressure brought upon him by drugs and violence. Bringing him to be a life long felon who had negative intention. The story is quite the read and shows different aspects of sociology and ethics.

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