The Other Wes Moore Chapters 4 & 5

Fast-forward from chapter 1 to chapter 4 and both Wes Moores appear to be heading down a rough path. The chapter begins with the other Wes Moore’s brother Tony noticing Wes’ new collection of nice clothes and shoes and comes to the conclusion that his little brother’s been selling drugs. Their mother, who had previously assumed the money was from DJing, also learns about her son’s secret work. She discovers the shoe box filled with his entire supply and flushes it down the toilet. Wes is majorly pissed, but this is only a minor setback. He continues his dealing at his girlfriend’s house.

Next we learn about the author’s troubled years after moving to the Bronx. He was failing school acting out, and made some not so great friends, particularly a drug dealer named Shea. Together they drew graffiti and even got arrested. The author felt bad after the incident, but continued with graffiti. That concern for his actions, even if it was very brief, was different from the other Wes, who was only encouraged to be sneakier after he got caught.

Chapter 5 is where the paths of the two Wes Moores took completely different directions. The author has been sent to military school. He hates it, begs and pleas to go home, and even attempts running away. He learns, however, that him going there is a huge sacrifice from his family, and that they’re only doing it for his benefit. The other Wes is still hustling  He has lots of girlfriends and even gets one, Alicia, pregnant. Wes shows no sign of wanting to support the child, just like his father. At the end of the chapter he gets involved in a shoot out with another boy and gets arrested.

One difference I’m noticing between the boys is a maturity level. The author is still a kid, depending on his family and just trying to screw around with his friends. The other Wes Moore appears to have little relationship with his mother and makes his own money out on the streets. With a child on the way, he’s gonna have to grow up fast. It’ll be interesting to see how these two deviate from each other even more as the book goes on.

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