My Brother Sam Is Dead

by Christopher Collier, James L. Collier

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Student Question

Who are the Platts in My Brother Sam Is Dead, and what is revealed about them in chapter 8?

Quick answer:

In chapter 8, readers learn that the Platts are Tim's cousins. We also learn that they are Loyalists.

Expert Answers

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The opening line of chapter 8 explains who the Platts are. Tim tells us that they are his "North Salem cousins," and that they live in a clapboard farm just off of the Ridgefield Road. Tim also tells us that the Platt family is big. There are nine people living in the house: Mr. and Mrs. Platt have 6 kids, and an aunt lives at the residence as well.

Tim has never met the Platt family prior to this trip, and it has been a long time since Tim's father has seen the family as well. Everybody is glad to see each other and meet for the first time, and the conversation quickly turns to talk about the war. Mr. Platt describes that things have gotten pretty bad in his area. Loyalists and Patriots are in open conflict. Houses have been burned to the ground, and people on both sides have been tarred and feathered. Mr. Meeker is grateful that things haven't gotten that bad in Redding.

Ezekiel Platt eventually takes Tim to bed, and Ezekiel asks Tim about the scare he had in the previous chapter. Tim then asks Ezekiel which side of the conflict they support, and Ezekiel confidently claims that he and his family are Loyalists. He says it in such a way as to leave no doubt that he and his family would never consider the Patriot case as valid. Ezekiel asks Tim what side he supports, and Tim admits he doesn't know who to support.

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