The Other Wes Moore is about two boys who are are similar, yet also extremely different. Both boys grew up in Baltimore just blocks from each other with the same name, Wes Moore. They were both raised by single mothers who tried to give them the best life they could for their children. Since they grew up with single mothers, neither had a father figure causing a very challenging, troubled childhood. Both grew up in similar yet different environments, that allowed their development to unwind differently from each other. This paper is going to discuss how resiliency and Bandura’s Theory apply to the development of both Wes Moores.
Throughout the novel Wes Moore showed resiliency when faced with obstacles growing up. Resilience is a broad term that can be defined as a positive adaption not matter the hardship. There is many interpretations in the term resilience. In relation to The Other Wes Moore, community resilience plays a big role in the shaping of the boys. Community resilience is the role that one’s culture and environment may play in acknowledging disturbance while managing change to overcome the disturbance(Fleming & Ledogar, 2008). Resilience is change, but positive change in one’s role. The development of resilience in both Wes Moores plays a role in why one was successful, and one ended up in jail.
Bandura’s theory discusses how the human mind develops, and what can potentially affect the development. He mainly focused on the behavior of an individual, and the environment and interaction with others. In the book, it states that the key components in Bandura’s theory in relation to the development of one’s self is the interaction between thoughts and influence of the environment (Ainbinder & Lehman, 2018). Bandura believes that the interaction with one’s thoughts and environment balance behavior and decision making. He also explains how goal setting and self efficacy, the confidence in one’s ability to perform certain tasks and achieve goals) is important to one’s development. For example, Wes grew up in a rough environment with fighting, and due to that he allowed a situation to escalate by his reaction instead on walking away from it. Bandura’s theory can elaborate on why both Wes’s took different paths in life.
The Other Wes Moore tells a story about two boys who had a similar lifestyle growing up, but took completely different paths as they developed. Wes Moore had a family that was caring, and were willing to do anything fro Wes to have a successful life. Wes was irritated at the thought of attending military school, but later realizes in was a good decision as Wes stated “I actually started to enjoy military school” (Moore, 2011). Also, Wes was accelerating in sports allowing him to receive athletic scholarships, which helped his family financially; this was also an act of resilience. Wes took a situation that was not going his way, and made it into something great for himself and his family. The other Wes was not able to achieve such great things. The other Wes began to disperse drugs, and was involved in a shooting landing him in prison. After discovering the mother of his child is on drugs, he opens his eye to change in his life. Although at this point in the book it seems like he is going to turn a negative lifestyle into a positive one, the stress of life pushes him back to drugs. He was overwhelmed, and allowed the obstacles in his life to defeat him.
We can see the major difference of resilience in each Wes’s life. The was that was successful in life suffered form many obstacles such as the death of his father, a bad living environment, the uprooting from where he grew up, but never let those obstacles defeat him or determine his life in a negative way. Although some of the incidents he was faced with he causes himself, he always found a way to turn them into a positive thing. He came from a low income family, a bad environment, and no father figure and was able to make such a bad lifestyle in a great one. On the other hand, resilience is not very noticeable in the other Wes’s life. As I stated before, he came from the same bad environment as Wes, but was not able to veer one them and make the best of his life which is why he ended up in prison. He allowed himself to take an easy route by letting the bad environment define who he was as a person and define his life as he developed.
Bandura’s work is also very clear throughout the novel. The environment that both Wes’s evolved from affected their behavior and their view on life. Wes was able to realize his self efficacy and was ale to push through the obstacles that he was faced with. Wes is the ideal example of resilience, because he was faced with so many problems throughout his childhood yet overcame them. The other Wes was not so much an ideal example. Both boys were handed the same lifestyle, but only one was able to make something out of it and push them to grow into a better person.
Overall, resilience and Bandura’s theory stood out in the novel. As stated before, both had a very rough childhood due to all the factors thrown at them. Although one of the boys was faced with a terrible environment, he was able to go down the right oath instead of giving in like the other Wes did.