In "My Brother Sam Is Dead," what is the event which triggers the conflict in the Meeker family?sam fighting with his dad

Expert Answers
reidalot eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Sam fights with his father because he becomes a soldier for the Revolutionaries. Unfortunately, his father is a Loyalist and opposes Sam's decision. The argument Sam has with his father spurs on his decision to go away, and Sam doesn't return until later to visit his girlfriend.

lit24 | Student

The conflict in the novel is between the father  Eliphalet Meeker the owner of the Meeker Tavern and the eldest son Sam Meeker.The father is a Tory, a conservative who wishes to avoid trouble for his family by being loyal to the British Government and the King. Sam is a rebel and he has enlisted with the Rebel army. His dream is freedom from British rule and an  independent American nation The father has experienced the harsh realities of war in his younger days and advises Sam against fighting but Sam is headstrong and craves for adventure and glory and does not listen to his father's advice.

On the night of his first return from Yale in April 1775, father and son are engaged in a heated argument over the issue of the war. Sam is determined to fight on the side of the rebels and demands that  his father hand over his gun-"Brown Bess"-to him. His father refuses and serves an ultimatum: either stop supporting the rebels or leave the house. Sam immediately walks out of the house leaving his father in tears.