Characters Analysis of the Other Wes Moore

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As avid readers of the story, The Other Wes Moore, we see one critical character who makes decisions down the road that end up ruining his life. All of this because he makes absurd and unthoughtful choices that lead him to the ultimate downfall at the end of the book. That character that goes through these havocs is the “Other” Wes Moore. Not only did he not abide by his brother, Tony (who conducted the types of deeds that Wes will crazily commit to later), nor does he take guidance from well-meaning people. In the end, the “Other” Wes is responsible for his demise as he commits many shameful deeds that ultimately send him to jail for the rest of his life.

The first lousy deed that got him on track to his fall was his implication in the drug business. Instead of spending time with Tony, Wes made the ultimate choice of going straight into the drug business: “Besides watching Tony, Wes’s first real interaction with drugs had taken place a few months earlier, just before the move out to Baltimore County”. Ever since the first time Wes skipped school one day, he has been interacting with the drugs. Wes’s first time doing drugs transpired at a young age. This situation posed a massive problem for him in the future. Once a person gets involved with drugs, they have a challenging time to get out of this habit, especially at such an early age. Consuming drugs, Wes became addicted, was expelled from school and got arrested.

There were many measures of negative outcomes that emerged from Wes’s early drug use. The initial encounter with drugs was not a big deal to Wes, but it had negative implications on his entire life. Wes knew what he was doing when he joined the drug game and ignored all obstacles even though Tony (who suffered greatly in drugs) had urged him to stay away. However, Wes was committed: “He knew what this game was, the same game that had consumed Tony and put a bullet or two in him. The same game Tony continually urged Wes to stay out of”. Wes chose to serve for a club of drug dealers in his neighborhood by informing them whenever the police passed by.

The theme of drugs and Wes’s downfall was critical here because it shows how drugs arose to permeate into his life. As a result, the reader can foretell that Wes might descend into the treacherous downward spiral of drugs that his brother Tony had once settled into. Wes’s first involvement with drugs eventually ruined his career: “A year after graduating, he realized they [the drugs] had not disappeared—they’d simply returned to Baltimore, waiting for him to come back. In his absence, they’d compounded… Wes held the plastic bag with both hands and poured in nine ounces of cocaine” (145). Wes was in a bit of a pickle on how he wanted to get money for his family. Instead of getting a regular job, he again decided to play the drug game which ultimately led to his downfall.

Next, he was responsible for assisting in the murder of a police officer. Four men (including Wes and Tony) robbed nearly $500,000 worth of gems from a jewelry store. Among the people in the store was Sergeant Bruce Prothero, a police officer and a father of five who had a second job serving as a security guard at the mall. As the robbers moved out, Sergeant Prothero raced after them. In the mall parking lot, the gang shot him three times from the vehicle. Sergeant Prothero died as the men hurried away. Even though Wes’ mother Mary is aware that Wes and Tony are associated with drug crime and have spent time in prison, she nevertheless sees them as a family. Now she must quarrel with the despicable admission that her sons (particularly Wes) took the personality and future of another.

During the trial, only Wes maintained his innocence, whereas the rest pleaded guilty in regards to the murder of a police officer. The purpose of why Wes affirms his innocence is one of the book’s prominent mysteries. Possibly it is too sensitive for Wes to appease this unique, refined image of himself with the substance of his past. At the same time, Wes does not appear intimidated by the possibility of dissipating the rest of his days in prison. Admittedly, he appears to have been stupefied by his recent actions. “Now Wes’s mind wandered to the long term for the first time. Finally, he could see his future”. As a result, Wes could not get a clear reading of his future due to all of the events that he was participating in throughout his childhood, from drugs to violence. However, because of Wes’s misjudgments on all of his decisions, he will rightfully be placed in a jail cell for the rest of his life.

Lastly, Wes was involved in a great deal of violence that also added to his downfall. For Wes, violence is less a deliberate choice or action and more a reality that surrounds and suffocates him: “Wes was tired… tired of being shot at and having to attend the funerals of his friends” (138). In this way, the author suggests that there is a degree of prejudice in Wes’s life incarceration for murder. When the judge sentences Wes, he cites him of acting as if he resided in “the Wild West,” a stark declaration that misses recognizing the point that Wes’s situation is just as intense and turbulent (if not more so) than the Wild West was. Wes knew what he was doing in regards to violence and discipline: “Wes had his entire operation organized with the precision of a military unit or a division of a Fortune 500 company. The drug game had its own rules, its own structure. He was a lieutenant, the leader of his small crew. Everyone in the crew had a specific job with carefully delineated responsibilities”.

The composition and development of Wes’s life guided him to the end of his career. He received the sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole for the killing of a police officer. The hands of the state confined his biography, and they would bedevil on him for the rest of his life in prison. Ahead of this, though, Wes’s violence and aggression got tense when he was involved in a shooting involving Ray (who is the boyfriend of a girl Wes slept with). Wes walked a girl out of his house, and then a guy beat him up over the girl he was with. Wes was enraged he got beat up, so he grabbed a gun and went after him. His response to violence took after his brother who would always tell Wes to “send a message”.

What Wes did not produce is an active composition and restraint as a minor, so he absorbed his lessons from the street gangs as a substitute to a parent. Wes had a firm structure, but it provoked him to get concerned with drugs, and ultimately ended up in prison forever.

After reading, we see how not only Wes conducts these heinous acts in his childhood, but his lack of sympathy towards his own life quickly evaporates (because of his poor decisions), following being sent to a maximum correctional facility, after his last atrocious deed: murdering a police officer. His career could have gone in an entirely different direction if he had listened earlier to his brother, Tony, and performed more rational decisions. However, instead, his career is in tatters and will eternally be residing in prison.


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Characters Analysis of the Other Wes Moore. (2020, Sep 21). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/characters-analysis-of-the-other-wes-moore/

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