The youngest Tillerman, Sammy is stubborn and hardworking like Dicey, but also the main source of humor and laughter for the family. He also is fiercely devoted to his family members and will go to any ends to protect them or to keep them together. Sammy swings from being as meek and mild as Maybeth at school, fearing that if he behaves badly he will drive Gram away (as he suspects he drove Momma away), to fighting frequently in response to the schoolchildren's jibes about Gram's oddness. He fights Dicey when she ignores or is dismissive of him, but he thrives under her attention and respect. Because of his age, Sammy has the most difficult time reconciling himself with Momma's condition, and throughout the novel he speaks wishfully of her recovery and return.