© 2014 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.
My Brother Sam Is Dead

My Brother Sam Is Dead

by James Lincoln Collier and Christopher Collier

Jeremiah "Jerry" Sanford

Character Analysis

Here's what we know about little Jerry Sanford:

  • He's Tim's friend, and he's few years younger than Tim.
  • Also, he fishes.

Yep. That's about it. All in all, seems like his life is a-okay.

But things goes downhill quickly when he gets captured by the British troops. They put him on a prison ship, and a few weeks later, he's dead. Seem unfair? Well, Mrs. Meeker and Betsy would agree. Take a look at the conversation they have after Jerry is dead:

"Jerry? He's dead?"

"Nobody understands it. They put him on a prison ship and he got sick and died in three weeks. It doesn't make any sense. You can understand why they took Mr. Rogers or Captain Betts, but why imprison a ten-year-old boy?"

"What harm could he have done them? This war has turned men into animals," Mother said. (12.6-8)

It's always horrible when someone dies during a war. But for Mrs. Meeker and Betsy, Jerry's youth makes it that much worse. Did you notice how they emphasize Jerry's age and innocence? Jerry's fate is a harsh reminder that war can kill absolutely anybody.

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement