Christopher Collier Joel Taxel - Essay

Joel Taxel

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

Rather than suggesting Americans shared a consensus about the correctness of the rebellion against the king, My Brother Sam Is Dead (1974) contains a picture of a family and community bitterly divided on this very issue….

Caught in the middle of this dispute is Tim, Sam's younger brother and the novel's protagonist. The tragedy of war is evident in the conclusion of the novel which finds Sam executed by his own army for a crime he did not commit, while his father dies after languishing aboard a disease-ridden British prison ship after being incarcerated for no apparent reason. Tim, finding hypocrisy and duplicity on both sides, chooses not to fight and instead sits out the war in the tavern...

(The entire section is 436 words.)