What major event in American History do Sam and his father disagree about? Describe how Sam and his father feel about the event.

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ladyvols1 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In the novel, "My Brother Sam Is Dead,"  Sam Meeker drops out of school, in 1775, and joins the militia so that he can fight for America's independence. The theme of the story is the Revolutionary War, and it is portrayed "as a civil war that divides families and communities."

Sam is a patriot and his father is against the fight.  Sam's father is a man who doesn't want war.  He wants things to stay the way they are in the colonies.  His loyalties are not for the Tories or the Patriots.  He simply doesn't want war.  He does believe that the people should honor the King of England and obey the laws.  Mr. Meeker loves his family and he loves his homeland, England, but he and Sam argue about the choice Sam makes to drop out of Yale and join the rebels.  Sam doesn't agree.

Sam becomes involved with the militia but soon discovers that it is much harder than he thought.  He enjoys drinking, swearing, and living on the edge of the rules. He doesn't want to stay with the militia, but he is too stubborn to come home, and he can't really get out of the militia.  Tim, his little brother and the narrator of the story is the one who really suffers.  He loses his father, his brother and his childhood.