Riley Pomeroy Characters:The main characters of My brother Sam is dead are Tim Meeker, his brother Sam Meeker, and their father Eliphalet Meeker. Tim’s family has given Eliphalet the nickname Life. Tim is young uncertain about a lot of things based on how he says he’s not sure several times throughout the book including when on page 197 he says to his cousin Ezekiel Platt “in my head I wasn’t sure about that.” Tim is also about 12 to 14 based on how he says on page 29″Of course Sam was almost a grownup himself. He was sixteen;” that Tim still looks up to Sam but thinks he’s significantly older than himself. Next, we have Sam Meeker who is slightly proud and rebellious based on the description of his demeanor when we were first introduced to him “my, he looked proud.”And when Tim has the realization Of “where Sam got his rebelliousness from”. Sam is sixteen based on when on page 29 when Tim states that Sam I sixteen years old we can also tell that Sam wears a uniform based on when it says “My brother Sam was standing there, wearing a uniform.
” Finally, Eliphalet is a strong-willed head of the house that loves his family based on when he begins to cry as stated on page 54 after he realizes his son is going to war no matter what he says. I can also infer that Eliphalet is at least thirty two years old based on the fact that his son Sam is sixteen years old and that since he is a Christian he most likely didn’t have kids until he was married and he most likely didn’t get married until he was sixteen.Setting:The book is set in Redding Connecticut in the mid seventeen seventies, the time of the revolutionary war. The physical setting of a colony with little else happening makes for an intriguing societal situation.
As the war begins, troops come through, there’s violence, a spy is active, and war starts to gain a grasp on the town. The people in the town become demoralized because of the war and how it affects them regardless of any allegiances. The uncertainty of their future creates a horizon where people question themselves and loyalty. The town is a place loyal to the king.
The rebellion is surrounding them, and both the British and the rebels doing terrible things for what they believe is right. Both sides believe their own cause is nobler than the opposition. For Tim, this is manifested as loyalty to his brother Sam and the fledgling America.
Or, loyalty to his father Eliphat and the crown. For the plot:When Sam Meeker arrives home from Yale in the spring of 1775 and says he is joining the rebels, his father is very upset. Tim is filled with determination admiration for his brother’s bold move. While the brothers are doing chores Sam reveals his plan to steal the Brown Bess. Tim objects to the idea, but he can’t stop his older brother. That same night Sam and his father Eliphalet Meeker argue about the war and Sam runs away.
After church the next day Tim finds the hut where Sam is hiding and tries to talk him out of going to war, but he can’t convince him. Several months later Sam returns on the same day that rebel troops storm his house and threaten Eliphalet for his gun. Tim sees this as an opportunity see his brother and runs to take the gun from him with no prevail and comes home to find dad on the floor with his dad sliced but okay. As time goes on eventually Tim’s neighbor Mr. Heron stops by the tavern and asks Tim to deliver some letters for him but Tim’s father says no. Tim wanting adventure sneaks away from his mom and begins to go deliver the letter but is confronted by Sams girlfriend. Tim then goes on a trading road trip to his cousins with his father but on the way there they are confronted by cow-boys who harass them.
On the way back Tim’s father gets kidnapped by the same cow-boys that harrased them earlier, Tim outsmarts the cow-boys And brings home the goods on his own. In the spring of 1777 British soldiers march into Redding and kill many men and boys including one of Tims best friends. After the British leave Redding the Rebel troops follow and Tim can reunite with Sam. Several months later Tim and his mother hear that Eliphalet has died on a prison ship due to cholera.
Now that Tim is the head of the house he has to decide what to do with the eight cows he and his mother have gotten from trading stuff for tavern goods. Later Sam urges Tim to kill and store the cow’s meat to prevent theft. Two men attempt to steal the cows but when Sam comes out to stop them he ends up getting framed by the two as the cattle thief. Since cattle thief has been a problem in the military for some time the general decides to make an example out of Sam. On February 16 of 1779, Tim watches helplessly as his brother is shot. Theme:I believe that what the author wants the reader to learn from this book is that decisions are hard to make and sometimes small decisions can have big consequences. Take for example when Sam tells Tim “Butcher them and hide the meat.
Or sell it. You can get a good price for the hides from the troops. Sell what you can. I promise you, the stock will be stolen.” on page 264. Which is significant because when he didn’t kill the cows a chain reaction began that ultimately led to his brother’s death. Another important piece of evidence is when Tim decides “that he’d get the oxen and the wagon and the load of goods back home if he could so we’d have something to run the store and the tavern on through the winter.
” on page 190. Even though he could have abandoned the cart and looked for dad and try to rescue him, he took the cart so the casualties of his actions would be limited after asking himself what dad would do. I believe that these examples are proof that the message the author was trying to convey is that sometimes decisions can be hard to make and that the outcome could drastically affect your life.Point of viewFirst of all, I believe that the first person point of view is Jim’s perspective. The evidence that backs up my prior statement is the fact that Tim is the character that takes us through the story since it’s Tim’s memoir and his excessive use of I and we. Second, I think that the second person point of view is Eliphalet based on the excessive use of you, your and your’s when he mentions himself or other people.
The story is told in the third person from the first person point of whew because it is his memoir. But then again he and he’s are used primarily when mentioning Sam.Themes of literature/foreshadowing:Throughout the book we hear warnings about situations that eventually play a part in that person’s own death.
For example there’s the time that Sam claims that a person should’ve willing to die for his cause. “”Nobody wants to get killed,” Sam said. “But you should be willing to die for your principles.””Page 181. Which is interesting because Sam didn’t die for his cause, he died defending his cause. Sam did so by trying to stop the cattle thieves he did so to keep the name of the continental army form defaced by the bandits.Sam warns Tim about cattle thieves and says that General Putnam may hang the next person he catches”Butcher them and hide the meat.
Or sell it. You can get a good price for the hides from the troops. Sell what you can. I promise you, the stock will be stolen.” Page 134(Sam warns Tim of cattle thieves and saysthat General Putnam may hang the next person he catches)”Oh he did, and knowing General Putnam he’ll hang any soldier he catches stealing.
He’s tough as nails but he’s honest.”Page 137(Father warns Tim about prison ships and the circulation of cholera)”They’ll throw you in a prison ship and let you rot. You know what happens to people on those prison ships? They don’t last very long. Cholera gets them or consumption or something else, and they die.
Tim, it isn’t worth it.”Page 62