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My Brother Sam Is Dead

My Brother Sam Is Dead


by James Lincoln Collier and Christopher Collier

My Brother Sam Is Dead Theme of Duty

Duties come in all shapes and sizes in My Brother Sam Is Dead. For Tim, sometimes his duties mean obeying his parents or doing his chores. No big deal, right? But sometimes it's about making tough decisions. Does Tim want to put his responsibilities to his family first? Or should he be like Sam and prioritize his duty to serve his country? Sorry, Tim—those aren't going to be easy decisions to make. You can't please everyone, and by the end of the book, Tim is going to find this out for himself.

Questions About Duty

  1. What does it mean to be dutiful in My Brother Sam Is Dead? How do the characters show that they have a sense of duty? Is it something they perform? Or is it something they feel inside?
  2. Should Sam show more duty to his country or to his family? Why do you think so? And what about Tim? Should he make the same decision as Sam?
  3. Are there any characters that don't show any duty at all? Is it good or bad to be so disobedient?

Chew on This

Try on an opinion or two, start a debate, or play the devil’s advocate.

Nation is number one. Sam chooses to defend his country, even if it means putting his family second, and that's the way it should be.

Family comes first. Tim puts his family over his country, and that's the right decision.

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