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What is a plebe and how does is compare to Wes’s other identities?

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In Ancient Rome, a pleb was a member of the common people. In modern times, it tends to be used as a derogatory term for someone deemed to be of a lower social class. That helps to explain why first year students at Valley Forge Military Academy such as Wes Moore are described as "plebes." As far as the authorities are concerned, they're the lowest of the low, to be treated as less than nothing.

Valley Forge's new arrivals are subjected to the rigors of harsh military discipline. For Wes Moore, as for the most of the other young men at Valley Forge, it's a culture shock, to say the least. This is about as far from the...

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