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My Brother Sam is Dead

Quotes

Important Quotations Explained

Quotes Important Quotations Explained

I asked myself what Sam would do if it were him…he'd do something daring. The most daring thing to do would be to track down Father…Then it came to me that even though rescuing Father was the daring thing to do, it wasn't the smartest thing. So I asked myself another question: what would Father do?

For the entirety of the story, Tim is caught between the opinions of his father and the opinions of Sam. He finds qualities of both in himself, yet he is never old enough or clever enough to compete with either, and he does not feel entirely similar to either. Much of the plot follows Tim's growth from being an observer of actions to being an actor himself. In this quotation we see the working of Tim's mind as he confronts a situation that he does not know how to handle. His mind jumps first to what Sam would have done, since Sam is the closest figure to Tim and the object of Tim's most immediate admiration. However, although Sam's decisions are usually glorious, they are rarely safe or wise. Father, on the other hand, is a very practical-minded man about a great many things, and Tim considers his actions as well. Finally he decides on a plan which contains all the courage of Sam, all the practicality of Father, and an ingenuity that is Tim's own.