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My Brother Sam Is Dead

My Brother Sam Is Dead


by James Lincoln Collier and Christopher Collier

Susannah Meeker

Character Analysis

Tim and Sam's mom is always busy working in the shop or the tavern, cooking up some chili or serving up some rum. She's also always worrying about her kiddos, and especially Sam. We can't blame her. For starters, she's a mom. That's just what moms do. Plus, Sam did run away and she barely gets to hear from him.

If there's one thing we know for sure about Mama Meeker, it's that this gal has a mind of her own. Ladies may not have had too many political rights back in colonial times, but Susannah Meeker isn't about to let her opinions go unheard. Take a look at this fight between her and her hubby about writing letters to Sam:

"I don't want you to do it, Susannah."

"I know you don't, Life. But I'm going to do it anyway." (7.15-16)

Bam. There you have it. Susannah is going to make her own decisions and she's going to make them heard. She knows her husband disagrees with her, but she's going to write that letter anyway.

But by the end of the novel, Mrs. M is a changed woman. Check out what Tim says to Betsy about his mom:

"I've never seen her so down, not even when we found out Father was dead. She bore up when he got captured and bore up when we learned he'd died, but she isn't bearing up now. She's trying, but she isn't bearing up." (13.27)

Looks like Mama Meeker is having a tough time, and we don't blame her. What do you think of this change? Do you think Mama Meeker will ever get back to her earlier, feistier self?