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My Brother Sam Is Dead

My Brother Sam Is Dead

by James Lincoln Collier and Christopher Collier

Coming of Age Quotes Page 1

How we cite our quotes:

Quote #1

Of course Sam was almost a grownup himself. He was sixteen; he'd been away at college for almost a year, so you couldn't really call him a child anymore. I guess that was part of the trouble; he thought he was a grownup, and he didn't want anybody to tell him what to do. Except I could tell that he was still afraid of Father. (1.52)

Sam is old enough not to be a child, but not quite mature enough to be an adult. Did you notice how Tim never says that Sam is actually a grownup? He says Sam is "almost" there or that Sam "thought he was a grownup." Does this mean it's all in Sam's head?

Quote #2

"You can't order me anymore, Father. I'm a man."

"A man? You're a boy, Sam, a boy dressed up in a gaudy soldier's suit." (1.160-161)

Sam's Father makes his feelings crystal clear: Sam is "a boy" playing dress up. According to Papa Meeker, there are no ifs, ands, or buts about it. We're thinking this is going to be a sticking point between father and son.

Quote #3

He seemed so brave and grown-up, and I wished that I could be brave and grown-up like him, too. (5.7)

All Tim wants is to be like his brother. Check out how we have a particular phrase repeated twice here: "brave and grown-up." Tim seems to think being brave and growing up are one and the same. What do you think about this pairing?