Wes Moore (Wes 1): The Author of the book. His parents were Westly and Joy, and his sisters were Nikki and Shani. He had a difficult time growing up because of the death of his father but after being sent to millitary school his behavior and grades improved. He visits the other Wes Moore in prison to talk about the past.
Wes Moore (Wes 2):The "other" Wes Moore. His parents were Mary and Bernard. He had one brother, Tony, who drastically influenced his life. He also had a difficult life growing up because of the absence of a father. He stayed in the streets and sold drugs. He robbed a jewelry store and assisted in the death of a police officer. He has now been sent to life in prison.
“I sat back, allowing Wes's words to sink in. Then I responded, "I guess it's hard sometimes to distinguish between second chances and last chances.”(Moore, 67)
“In spite of myself, I was impressed. I had never seen anything like that before. I had never seen a man, a peer, demand that much respect from his people. I had seen Shea demand respect in the neighborhood, but this was different. This was real respect, the kind you can’t beat out of people. That’s when I started to understand that I was in a different environment… It was a different psychological environment, where my normal expectations were inverted, where leadership was honored and class clowns ostracized.”(Moore, 96)
“Wes, you are not going anywhere until you give this place a try. I am so proud of you and your father is proud of you. We just want you to give this a shot. Too many people have sacrificed in order for you to be there.”(Moore, 95)
“Yo! You need to take this…seriously, man. Acting stupid ain’t cool!”(Moore, 27)
“Your father wasn’t there because he couldn’t be, my father wasn’t there because he chose not to be. We’re going to mourn their absence in different ways.”(Moore, 1)
-The other Wes
“I realized just how similar were the challenges the young boys here and like the ones I grew up with faced. In both places, young men go through the daily struggle trying to navigate their way through the deadly streets, poverty, and the twin legacy of exclusion and low expectations.”(Moore, 170)
“If you won’t listen that’s on you. You have the potential to do so much more, go so much further. You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink, right?”(Moore, 72)
Characters That Helped
Westly (Wes 1): Wes's father. Although he did not know him for long, the two memories he had of him and stories from his mother helped guide him along the right path.
Joy (Wes 1): Wes's mother. She helped Wes in multiple ways but perhaps the action that had the biggest effect was sending Wes to military school.
Colonel Bratt (Wes 1): Wes’s colonel while he was in military school. He taught Wes the true meaning of honor, courage, and camaraderie .
Mama, Zinzi, and Viwe (Wes 1): Wes’s family while he was in Africa. Even though they were not related, they had strong connection like a normal family and they showed Wes many new things.
Mary (Wes 2): Wes’s mother. She tried her absolute best to make sure Wes grew up to be a good person, but unfortunately Wes never listened and went down a dark path.
Characters that hindered
Tony (Wes 2): Wes’s brother. Even though he tried to lead Wes down a good road in the beginning, he eventually gave up and recruited Wes to join in the jewelry store robbery.
Woody (Wes 2): Wes’s friend who never tried to get involved in any of Wes’s activities. The influence of friends are strong and Woody could have helped Wes in life.
Cheryl (Wes 2): Wes’s wife. She was a drug addict who always needed her next fix. She drove Wes over the edge.
Ray (Wes 2): A person who was shot by Wes after they got into a fight. The person who may have decided Wes’s path permanently.
Shea (Wes 1): A friend of Wes’s who is also a drug dealer. Shea tends to drag Wes down the wrong path.
Wes 1 - author Wes
Wes 2 - "other" Wes
Author: Wes Moore
Type of Work: Novel
Publication date: 1/11/2011
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Narrator: The author
Point of view: switches from first and third person
Protagonist: Wes Moore and Wes Moore
Setting: The Bronx 1982-2000
Major Conflict: The two Wes Moore's lives changing into to completely different paths
Rising action: Children growing up, one Wes going to millitary school while the other stayed home and dealt drugs
Climax: One Wes kills a police officer
Falling action: Wes is arrested and the other one starts visiting him in prison
Theme: Education is very important in everybody's life. Small things change lives forever.
Foreshadowing: “it was years before Wes’s mom found out her son had been arrested that day. By the time she did, she had bigger things to think about.” (Moore 35)