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The Other Wes Moore: One Name, Two Fates and The Hate U Give share similar themes, although the characters have different decisions to make. The Other Wes Moore: One Name, Two Fates, provides the reader with themes of racism, second chances, choices, and opportunities. Both boys were forced to make decisions that would affect their future. The Hate U Give shows racism, bravery, opportunities, choices, and community. Starr was forced to make decisions that would affect others’ lives as well as her own. Choices and opportunities that people are given determine their perception, and the hope they have in the future.
The Other Wes Moore: One Name, Two Fates by Wes Moore shows the reader the importance of opportunities and how it affects the future. Both boys were given multiple opportunities. Their choice on whether to take it affected their future. When the other Wes was eight years old, he and a friend got into a disagreement which led Wes to pull a knife on his friend. “The police officer yelled at Wes:’Put down the knife.’ Wes didn’t hear him. Wes continued to move toward the boy… Three hours later, Wes was released under the care of Tony’s father…” As a child, Wes showed a violent outburst but was given a chance to move on from that moment. If Wes had murdered his friend or was kept in the police station for longer, Wes’s fate could have been extremely different. It also affected his choices in the future. Wes’s violent outbursts were almost perceived as normal because there was no reprimand for his actions.
Both Wes Moores had opportunities and choices that determined their perception and future. The author Wes had a different fate than the other Wes. His mother sent him to military school. “I knew my mother was considering sending me away, but I never thought she’d actually do it. The final straw came one evening while she sat downstairs on the phone listening to my dean from Riverdale explain why they were placing me on academic and disciplinary probation” Wes believed that the school would be a terrible experience for him. He believed that nothing good would come out of it, but military school forced Wes to become better behaved and leave the drug game forever. He was later given the opportunity to attend college. After that moment, his fate became different from the other Wes.
In the book, The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas, the reader is shown that opportunities people are given will determine the hope they have for the future. After Starr had seen Khalil get shot, she was fearful to speak out. She was scared to tell the world what had truly happened, but eventually, she worked up the nerve to tell her story to the world by going on a national news program. She was greeted by the producer when she first arrive at the news station. “‘Thank you so much for having the bravery to do this.’ There’s that word again. Bravery. Brave people’s legs don’t shale. Brave people don’t feel like puking”. She was scared to speak out because she was scared that she could say the wrong thing that would allow for the cop to be set free or that people would pity her. She was thinking of her past when she saw her friend get shot in a drive-by. The murderer was never caught. Starr wanted to be more than simply “that girl.” Later, Starr’s boyfriend Chris found out that she was the witness to Khalil’s death. When he asked her why she did not tell him about the shooting, she became unnerved. “‘People use it against me. Either poor Starr who saw her friend get killed in a drive-by or Starr the charity case who lives in the ghetto’”. Starr was fearful because of her past. Starr and Chris’s relationship almost collapsed after this shooting, because she was isolating herself, and he wanted to help her. It was important that Starr spoke out because her account could have swayed the jury’s decision to punish the cop for shooting Khalil. If she did not, everything that happened in her life could have been drastically different.
People often say that fate is predetermined and cannot be changed, but I believe that the opportunities they are given have an effect on their fate. My cousin was born to a teen mom and struggled throughout his childhood. He lost his grandmother who he was particularly close to, watched his best friend go to jail, and never finished high school. People in his hometown always said that from the day he was born, he was destined to never have a great life. He was cursed. When my cousin was 19, he decided to get out of that town and moved to a larger town, six hours away. He ended up homeless for a month, and people from his hometown continued to gossip saying he could not escape his fate. He was determined to not give up; he found a job that he was passionate for and created a great life for himself. His job is caring for those who cannot care for themselves. He currently has a stable job, a long-time girlfriend, and an apartment. At that moment, he changed his “fate” and turned his life around, he was not destined to a bad life, he was destined to help improve others’ lives.
Opportunities and choices affect people’s future in a vital way, both books dealt with similar problems, but their fates were extraordinarily different. Both Wes Moores was in a life that was not good for them. They were involved with gangs and drugs which did not allow them to grow intellectually, emotionally, or leave their toxic community. The author eventually escaped that life went to college and became successful. For Starr, she was not caught up in drugs or gangs, but her choice to speak out against 1-15 affected her, her family, and many people living in her community. Even though the cop was not charged with the murder of Khalil, Starr’s decision to use her voice affected her future, and now believes that her voice can change the future.
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