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My Brother Sam Is Dead

My Brother Sam Is Dead

by James Lincoln Collier and Christopher Collier

Violence and Warfare Theme

My Brother Sam Is Dead makes one thing crystal clear: war stinks. Big time. In the novel, the Revolutionary War leads to a whole bunch of deaths, many of which are seriously gruesome. We're talking the stuff of nightmares here. Kids, adults, and everyone in between is in danger. But remember, the violence comes from both sides of the conflict; it's almost as if the authors aren't quite taking a side… are they? And while we're at it, would you say the authors are even squarely in camp anti-war? All we know is that this is some genuinely complicated stuff.

Questions About Violence and Warfare

  1. What are the consequences of the Revolutionary War in My Brother Sam Is Dead? What positive things come out of the war? How about the negative things?
  2. How do the women in this book participate in the war? Do the women take on similar or different roles than the men?
  3. Does the war affect kids differently than adults? How so?
  4. Is the violence in My Brother Sam Is Dead totally caused by the war?

Chew on This

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

Down with war! Mr. Meeker hates the war no matter who wins. In the end, the book argues that war isn't worth the cost.

Let's go to war! Sam's dedication to the war means that he's willing to die for freedom, and the book says this is a good thing.

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