The Other Wes Moore Essay
Once upon a time, there were two boys who lived in the same neighborhood, with the same name and family situation, but ended up with totally different lives. Both boys grew up in impoverished neighborhoods with single moms. One of the boys grew up to be a successful decorated soldier and author. Wes’ mother, Joy, raised him as a well-disciplined boy sending him to military school. The other boy grows up selling drugs and taking part in several gangs, he later goes to jail for life after killing a veteran police officer in an armed robbery.
His mother, Mary, on the other hand, had a more difficult punishing Wes because she was busy working multiple shifts to support her family. Mothers have different methods of raising their children, but they love them none the less, accurately identified by Pearl S. Buck, some mothers are more lenient while others make extreme decisions to insure the best for their kids. Some mothers give their children too much freedom, as correctly stated by Buck, and do not take responsibility for their children’s actions.
In The Other Wes Moore, a memoir about two boys growing up in the same neighborhood; one mother is too tolerant and preoccupied with work; for that reason she cannot be the authoritarian parent essential to teach a strong lesson about experimenting with drugs and alcohol. Mary came home an hour after Wes, “The high had begun to wear off… Mary laughed, watching him squirm. ‘Well at least now you know how bad it feels and you will stay away from drinking,’” (61-2). Mary had the drugs in one of her dresser drawers, Wes found it looking for some spare change while Mary was at work.
She looks past the fact that he was high because of her own foolishness and enjoys seeing her son feel shame, rather than talking to him about the dangers that come along with smoking weed and drinking. Mary is also too irresponsible to take responsibility for path of life she led her sons to. The narrator describes her reaction to finding Wes’ shoe boxes full of drugs, “She already knew all she needed to know. Both of her sons were drug dealers… she took the boxes into the bathroom… and emptied the contents into the toilet,” (73).
Tony, Mary’s first son, Wes’s half-brother had been selling for a while; he tried telling his mother that the extra cash Wes was making was not from being a successful DJ, rather selling drugs. She didn’t want to face that fact because she knew that wasn’t a good lifestyle for her son whom she loved. Mary allowed this problem get out of hand, if she confronted Wes when he first smoked the weed he could have never been introduced to marketing of drugs. Buck appropriately pointed out that even lenient mothers love even when they do not take responsibility for their children’s actions.
Other mothers raise their children with more rules and discipline and really have a greater impact on the result of their children’s lives, suitably indicated by Buck. In The Other Wes Moore, one mother is sterner and wanted the best for her children and nothing less; therefore she teaches powerful lessons about the importance of education and discipline. Wes describes how his mom wanted him to go to military school, “My mother had begun to threaten me with military school if I didn’t get my grades and discipline tighter,” (54.
Joy knew that Wes was slacking off in school and hoped that just the threat of being sent off would get him back into check real fast. Unfortunately for young Wes, he went to military school and got put into check. Joy sent him away, not for her benefit, so he could really focus on getting an education while also learning the important lesson of respect Joy transformed Wes’s life forever; he learned life skills that would not be available at any public school. Moore described how he changed after military school, “My mother had noticed the way I had changed since leaving for military school.
My back stood straight and my sentences now ended with ‘sir’ or ‘ma’am’,” (115). Only because Joy sent Wes to military school he learned discipline. His mother must have been very proud knowing that her son ended up successful rather than on the streets scrounging for work. Joy made the right choice to send her son; it must have been hard to send him away, but she loves him and she knew it was best. Even disciplinary mothers love their children they just have a different way of showing it properly noted by Pearl S. Buck.