Study Guide

Autobiography of My Dead Brother Fear

By Walter Dean Myers

Fear

Many, if not most, people are afraid to die. But since Jesse lives in a neighborhood where his peers die violently every day, his fear of death is one of the most real things in his life. Watching his friend Rise turn into a hardened criminal brings that fear even closer to the surface—both because he's worried for his friend, and because Rise's new associates are super dangerous. The same concern haunts pretty much every other character in Autobiography of My Dead Brother to some degree. Let's just say that some of them cope with it better than others do.

Questions About Fear

  1. Jesse's mom copes with her fear by praying. Choose another character and describe how he or she copes with their fear. What similarities and differences do you notice between the character you've chosen and Jesse's mom's methods?
  2. Jesse's parents seem to be more afraid for him than they are for themselves. Why?
  3. Name one character who fears something other than death. What is it? Do you think their fear is valid?

Chew on This

In Autobiography of My Dead Brother, fear is a positive emotion because it helps keep people out of trouble.

In Autobiography of My Dead Brother, fear is a negative emotion because of how much it wears on people over time.

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