Comparison Of The Other Wes Moore

1555 Words7 Pages
People, influences, and choices can morph the idea of respect for an individual. In, The Other Wes Moore, the author, Wes Moore, describes how his life could have easily been someone else’s. Though his idea of respect eventually led him to be successful, another Wes Moore saw the opposite. The two Wes Moores lived in the same neighborhood for much of their lives; however, they did not know about each other’s existence until one made a choice that resulted in a life-long consequence. The other Wes Moore is described to have a different understanding of respect which ultimately leads him to a destination of confinement. How each Wes experienced respect was a noteworthy cause of his fate. In each Wes’s life, there are many similarities, yet countless differences in how they personally defined respect as influenced by family, community, and choices. Respecting family was of upmost importance to both Wes Moores. In both families, protecting and caring for family could gain one respect. Most members of both families cared for one another. Just as the other Wes desperately tried to help his mother, children, and the mothers of his children financially, the narrator helped relieve the financial burdens of his family by doing well academically and receiving scholarships. In the narrative, relatives in the household could also earn the respect of other relatives by protecting one another. In one instance, Shani was punched by another girl in the neighborhood; the narrator confronted the girl, “She straightened up with a surprised look…’Little girl, don’t you ever touch her again. I don’t know who you think you are, but you are really messing with the wrong one’” (Moore 78). Similarly, Tony protects his younger brother, the other Wes, by thr... ... middle of paper ... ... they had a lack of self-respect, it was how soon they realized a change was to be made that would either create a successful or restricted future for themselves. While each Wes experienced respect in similar ways, they personally let respect define themselves by the choices they made. David Middleton states self-respect is composed based on how an individual sees themselves fit in the world. He writes, “[p]eople’s self-respect is constructed on each of these dimensions: worth (human self-respect), successes (appraisal self-respect) and belonging (status self-respect)” (Middleton 75). In the narrative, respect is taught in both the home and the community. However, it is perceived and experienced very differently in the lives of each Wes. Therefore, respect experienced in the home and the community lead an individual to decide for themselves a level of self-respect.
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