Many people, in their lives have many monstrous people or moments that shape them to the person they are currently. This molding of personality, however, can have a positive or negative effect on a person. It can permanently form a person’s personality for the rest of their lives. Even though Wes Moore is enrolled in a very sophisticated school, that being Riverdale, the school could not help Wes Moore in the way that Valley Forge can. The problem with Riverdale does not entirely lie in the school system, it lies in the surroundings around the school system. The drug invested streets and all of the violence makes it extremely hard for Riverdale schools to be a suitable place to get an education. Temptation surrounds the school system and it cannot escape from it. Not having a whole lot of disciplinary actions for unsuitable behavior also causes the school system to crumble away from the best, “The problem was that I wasn’t even showing up half the time,” (Moore 76). The author Wes Moore does not have the discipline for not going to his designated classes.
Even though Wes Moore’s start of school is a little rocky, he gets a wakeup call when he arrives at Valley Forge Military Academy. This military school does not play around with Wes in the slightest. At first, Wes thinks he can do whatever he wants and does not have to listen to anyone or anything, not even First Sergeant Anderson. The Sergeant wakes everyone up and forces them into the hallway. Wes Moore, however, does not believe that he has to get out of bed for anybody. The Sergeant keeps drilling Wes to get out of bed by saying, “Get your Goat-smelling ass out of the rack!” (Moore 86). Wes, however, stands his ground and does not move an inch. The Sergeant then leaves to make Wes think he has won this battle between the two of them. Sadly, Wes Moore is mistaken. Suddenly eight students at the military school pick up Wes’ bed and flings him onto the hard ground.
The Valley Forge Military Academy taught Wes Moore what Riverdale never could, discipline. The other Wes Moore has many educational experiences as well, just not over the same topics. Yes, the author and the other Wes Moore both learn how to let no one trample over them, they do it in about completely opposite ways. The author does it by going to military school to get some discipline for himself and to stand up for what he believes in. The Other Wes Moore does it by violence and intimidation. His thought process is if you scare away your enemies, you don’t have to worry about them. The turning point of both the characters is different from each other. The author turns around his viewpoints in military school and learns discipline. The Other Wes Moore, however, is when he and his brother Tony are on the run from the cops for killing the police officer.
The author chooses to turn his life around while the Other Wes Moore decides to keep heading down hill. The Other Wes Moore could have easily been just as successful as the author. If the Other Wes Moore had a little bit of discipline like the author does in his life time, he would have had a better chance at having a different life, like one that does not have his behind bars for as long as he lives. Also, if the cops would have caught him sooner in his drug gangs, before he was really deep in them and did not have the guilt of killing someone, he could have had a less of a punishment and turned his life around when he got out of prison. The gang helps Wes kill Ray and if he never got involved in the first place he would not have been capable of killing him. This book makes me think about how events in a lifetime shape the kind of person you will become later in life. Everything connects and shapes a person. That is why people should take the positive influences in life to heart and leave out the negative ones so the best life awaits a person in their future.
Although Wes and the other Wes Moore both grew up in the same city at the same time, the two men have many differences, such as their mother`s involvement, their fathers and the level of accomplishment. First, Wes (the author) had compassionate and an educated mother. His mother attended university of Washington D.C and she graduated from there. She took care of him as well as sending him to private school to get good education. Second, Wes (The author) lived with his father. His father was educated and had a job.
One day Wes punched his sister Nikki after she bite him because he jabbed at her face. Then his father come to him and spoke about punching his sister. Wes`s father said him “it`s totally wrong to hit women, especially if she is your sister. Finally, Wes was succeeded and achieved his goals. He attended school through his childhood. He graduate from Valley Forge Military School College, as well as university of Hopkins and he completed his master degree. On the other hand, the other Wes Moore a had careless mother. His mother used to work every single day and she didn’t know anything about his situation.
Even though his mother went University of Hopkins and wanted to continue her education, she didn`t get the opportunity to continue it. Not only he had a careless mother, but he also had an alcoholic father. His father was a drug dealer. Due to this, Wes’s mother kicked his father out of the house, because she didn`t want her son to be drug dealer. Finally, the other Wes Moore wasn`t successful. He became drug seller as well as a murder. Due to this, he was sent to jail for life. Clearly, the type of parents that they had makes big differences.
Read more: How to Start a Compare and Contrast Essay
Although, Wes and the other Wes Moore had a lot of differences, they both had same similarities such as; they were raised by their mothers, grew up in same city and involved illegal activities. First, both Wes and the other Wes Moore were raised by their mothers. Wes’s father died when Wes was young and the other Wes Moore never met with his father except one day. Because of this, their mothers raised them since their childhood. Second, they both grew up in same city and they had same names. Both of them lived in Baltimore city, however Wes’s mother moved to New York City later on.
Both of them involved illegal activities. For instance, the other Wes Moore sold drugs and committed a murder while Wes, the author did graffiti which was illegal back to those days. Here is the evidence. Wes said “I love throwing my name up on wall; it felt like splashing in the shallow end of the criminal pool.” He also said” I began first drawing the connected Ks, Kid Kupid, with wide circle around them.” It`s hard to believe that these two men had all of those similarities, while their level of achievement were totally different.