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Character Analysis: The Other Wes Moore

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It Could Have Been Me “The chilling truth is that his story could have been mine. The tragedy is that my story could have been his” (Moore, 2011). This quote perfectly describes the book The Other Wes Moore. This book was a story about two people who have the same name and grew up in similar environments, but had very different lives. The author of the book, Mr. Moore, became successful and was given the opportunity to receive “one of the most prestigious academic awards for students in the world” (Moore, 2011). On the other side of the spectrum, the other Wes Moore “will spend every day until his death behind bars for an armed robbery that left a police officer and a father of five dead” (Moore, 2011). Mr. Moore decided to contact the…show more content…
Mr. Moore’s father died from a medical complication that could have been prevented, while Wes Moore’s father was never around leaving him to be raised by his mother. The death of Mr. Moore’s father resulted in the family having to move to live with his grandparents in the Bronx. Mr. Moore’s mother tried everything, including putting him into an expensive school to keep him out of trouble and give him a chance for a successful life. Mr. Moore was still influenced by the neighborhood which lead to him being sent to military school, where he was able to understand that his actions had consequences, leading him to be the person that he is today. The other Wes Moore did not have the same fate. Although his brother, Tony, was a gang member, he constantly talked to Wes about how he could not get involved in gangs. “Tony felt his brother’s life could be saved”, but eventually Wes got involved with dealing drugs (Moore, 2011). After a robbery that resulted in the murder of two people, Wes was convicted of life in…show more content…
Differential association theory was founded by Edwin H. Sutherland (Lilly, 2012, p. 43). This theory states that “any person will inevitably come into contact with definitions favorable to violation of the law and with definitions unfavorable to violation of the law” (Lilly, 2012, p. 44). Whichever definition is more prominent in a person’s mind, will lead to their decision of “whether the person embraces crime as an acceptable way of life” (Lilly, 2012, p. 44). Sutherland composed nine propositions that explained the theory. He explained that “crime is learned through the process of differential association” (Lilly, 2012, p. 45). The nine propositions explained that “criminal behavior is learned” (Lilly, 2012, p. 45). He explained that by communicating with others, especially those that are close to them they are more likely to pick up behaviors from those people. Differential association theory also explains that learning criminal behaviors “involves all the mechanisms that are involved in any other learning” (Lilly, 2012, p. 45). While learning a criminal behavior one not only learns “the techniques of committing the crime” but also the “specific direction of motives, drives, rationalizations, and attitudes” involved with crime (Lilly, 2012, p. 45). This is theory is shown throughout the book when the young Mr. Moore was influenced by the life of crime that was present in his
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