From 11:00PM PDT on Friday, July 1 until 5:00AM PDT on Saturday, July 2, the Shmoop engineering elves will be making tweaks and improvements to the site. That means Shmoop will be unavailable for use during that time. Thanks for your patience!
We have changed our privacy policy. In addition, we use cookies on our website for various purposes. By continuing on our website, you consent to our use of cookies. You can learn about our practices by reading our privacy policy.
© 2016 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.
My Brother Sam Is Dead

My Brother Sam Is Dead

  

by James Lincoln Collier and Christopher Collier

My Brother Sam Is Dead Theme of Family

When it comes to family drama, the Meekers are the masters. Looking for a family with screaming political fights at the dinner table? Sam and Mr. M are here to deliver. Or perhaps you're in the mood for some shouting and storming off? All the Meeker family members get the chance to slam a door at one point or another. But even with all this fighting, the Meekers still love each other. Yep, we said it: there's a lot of love in My Brother Sam Is Dead. It's just sometimes you have to look deep down to find it.

Questions About Family

  1. What makes a family strong? Are the Meekers a strong family? How so?
  2. Do the characters rely on their families a lot? How so? Or are most of the characters pretty independent?
  3. For Tim, what does it mean to support his brother? What about for Sam? Is he a supportive sibling?
  4. How does Betsy Read's family influence her politics? What about the Meekers: do they have a political influence on Sam?

Chew on This

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

Tim needs his family. The novel argues that Tim can't go it alone, so it's good that he keeps his family close.

Sam gets along just fine on his own. The novel argues that family is nice, but not necessary.

People who Shmooped this also Shmooped...

Advertisement