The Other Wes Moore


Wes Moore

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Themes and Colors
Luck vs. Choice Theme Icon
Friendship, Family, and Brotherhood Theme Icon
Inclusion vs. Exclusion Theme Icon
Race, Inequality, and Injustice Theme Icon
Discipline and Violence Theme Icon
LitCharts assigns a color and icon to each theme in The Other Wes Moore, which you can use to track the themes throughout the work.

Luck vs. Choice

The central conceit of The Other Wes Moore lies in the question of how two men born into a similar position – and who even share identical names – ended up leading wildly different lives. Is this divergence simply a matter of luck, or because of the choices that each of them made? Moore the author does not give a definitive answer, but rather presents a detailed portrayal of his own life alongside that of

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Friendship, Family, and Brotherhood

The book is not only a portrayal of the two Wes Moores; it is also a depiction of their families. Moore emphasizes the extent to which our families shape who we are, and stresses that without family support, most people have little chance of achieving success. Moore begins the narrative with a discussion of how he and Wes each had to cope with having an absent fathers, before moving on to describe his own father

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Inclusion vs. Exclusion

Both Wes Moores experience powerful moments of inclusion and exclusion during their lives, and these experiences have a significant impact on the choices each of them makes. Born into loving—if shattered—families, the Wes Moores begin life with a strong connection to their relatives. Both boys also experience a sense of community through their participation in sports; Wes feels a sense of belonging when he puts on his Northwood Rams football jersey, and Moore describes the

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Race, Inequality, and Injustice

Perhaps the most important parallel between the two Wes Moores—even more significant than their shared name, age, and birthplace—is the fact that they are both black. This creates a bond between the two men that endures even though almost everything else about their lives is in stark contrast. At the same time, the two men do not share the exact same ethnic identity; whereas Wes is entirely African-American, Moore’s mother and grandparents are immigrants

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Discipline and Violence

The Other Wes Moore features a great deal of violence, yet this violence comes in many different forms. Perhaps the most obvious example is the violence of the streets, which affects both men yet is a far bigger part of Wes’s life than Moore’s. Both men are born in Baltimore at a time in which drugs and gang violence are taking a devastating toll on the city. However, as Moore moves through

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