Dialectical Journal

by: Megan Pennington

"I'd never seen him cry before in my whole life; and I know there were bad times coming."

The language in this quotation from My Brother Sam Is Dead makes the reader feel a sense of awareness. The author uses words like "never" and "bad" to show how aware Tim is of the war. This shows how Tim is now paying attention to his surroundings. Before the war was taking an affect onto him and his family Tim never payed attention he just did what he was told to do. Previously, Tim has said, "I had a different feeling about it; it was real and it could come home to me.' at this point in the story the so called "different feeling" has now arrived. These statements together show how much Tim has grown as the war has gotten bigger. It shows how the war can change someone's view on their life.

"How could I not go when all my friends were going?"

Here, the values of and beliefs of Sam are affected by his friends. Peer pressure is a big deal and is hard to take hold of. In front of his friends Sam did not want to look like a wimp so he went into the war. The language in the text shows how desperate Sam is to be like his friends. By using a sentence like "how could I" the author shows how Sam does not want to be the odd man out. He didn't want to be the only collage student who isn't fighting for their freedom. This shows how, yes when standing up to Life, Sam might seem mighty and like he knows what he is doing but with others he feels like he is the lesser person.

"I had a different feeling about it; it was real and it could come home to me."

The language in this quotation from My Brother Sam is Dead makes the reader feel a sense of discomfort. The author uses words like "different" and "real" to show the anticipation Tim is waiting for. This shows Tim's worried expression. When Tim started to feel like the war was becoming more and more real, everything begins to fall apart. Tim was worried how the war would come home to him and his family and by using that quote the author makes the reader feel worried for what is to come. This quote allows the reader to see how Tim feels towards the war and how it could affect him. He knows that sooner or later the war will be near them and he wanted to be ready.

"Although to tell the truth, I envied him."

The language in this quotation from My Brother Sam Is Dead makes the reader feel sympathetic towards Tim. By using the words "envied" and "truth" the author gives the reader an inside on Tim's thoughts over his brother. Tim has always been under the shadow if his brother, having to deal with being compared to him. When Sam goes into war, he comes back with a fancy suite and uniform that represented pride for his country. At that point glory was painted onto Sam's face. Tim wanted the very same glory, but was years younger and worked in the family's tavern. This quote represents how Tim has always been envious over Sam and all of his adventures. Tim wants to follow in his brothers foot steps but not in his shadow.

"I've got one mixed up in this bloody war already, I'm not going to let the other one go."

The language in this quotation from My Brother Sam Is Dead makes the reader feel the woe the Life is feeling due to his oldest son going into the war. By using the words "bloody" and "mixed up" the author shows the anger and sorrow of Life. This shows how much Life actually loves his sons and how he doesn't want either of them to die. He will do anything to get Sam back and anything to not risky Tim. Even when Tim is determined to help go on a supply run Life firstly says no until the mom says that it's unnecessary. All Life has is his family. He doesn't want to loose them.

"But best of all, I had my excuse to get away."

The language in this quotation from My Brother Sam Is Not Dead makes the reader feel the freedom Tim is experiencing. By using the words "excuse" and "away" the author shows the desperation for freedom. Since Sam has been out with the war, he hasn't been able to help out in the tavern leaving Tim to work alone at the tavern. This given Tim no free time. Making him working non stop. When Life gave Tim a opportunity to go on a run, Tim said yes. This shows how adventuress Tim is.

"Principle, Sam? You may know principle, Sam, but I know war."

The language in this quotation from My Brother Sam Is Dead makes the reader feel concerned. By using the words "may" and "know" the author shows how Life thinks he knows better than Sam when it comes to wars. This shows how young Sam really is and how he still makes mistakes. Sam is still a child in the eyes of Life and his wife. Sam is deciding to go into the war with out knowing anything about war except that it is one way out of many to become free. Life, however, knows wars and understands how they work. Life knows there are many sacrifices.

"But you never get rid of in justice by fighting."

The language in this quotation from My Brother Sam Is Dead shows Life's thought of war. Sam, at this point, is going to participate in the war. Life is very concerned because he knows that wars are never good and that in every war there is many sacrifices. In order to talk some sense into Sam before he leaves, Life tells him "You never get rid of in justice by fighting." This shows how much Life knows about wars. Also how Life is not for fighting. Unlike other villagers who think fighting is the best way for war, Life believes there is other ways.

"Not everybody is willing to play dog to the king."

According to the text it is apparent that our protagonist is tired of being under the kings control. By using the word "willing" the author shows how Life knows that not everyone is for being under the Kings control and wants to be free. Since they live in a Torie town most rebels living in Redding would be willing to be a dog to the king. Even then there is still a good amount of people living in Redding who just want to be free. This shows how everyone at Redding chooses their side. They are either willing to be a servant to the king or they want to be free. Until the war ends each side is still under the King's service.

"I've made a sacrifice, Mr. Heron. I've lost a son. You know I have no love for the rebels, but this is one war I'm not fighting."

Here, the values and beliefs of Life are affected by his son going into war as a rebel. Life's whole family lives in a Torie town meaning that most people who live there like being under the king's control. Tim fighting on the rebel side represented which side their family was on, even though Life was no rebel. This shows how Life thinks about the war. He lost his son, and now is labeled as a rebel.

"He shouted at Sam and Sam had ran away. He was scared that if he shouted at me I'd run away."

A conflict of Sam running away is clearly shown hear. When Life yelled at Sam, Same ran away so when Life was yelling at Tim he stopped himself once he noticed. He didn't want to loose his last son. This shows how much Life cares about the two boys. Life was scared he was going to loose both of his boys in this war. When Sam ran away, Life cried not know if he would ever see him again. If Tim would have also ran away Life would have no sons and would most likely be a mess the rest of his life.

"If this message is received, we will know that the messenger is reliable."

According to the text, it is apparent that our protagonist is being used as a messenger for secret spy letters. When Betty Read showed Tim that the supposed "business letter" said this, it was a shock to Tim Betty and even the readers. It shows how during the war no one can trust no one. The letter, as thought of by Betty Read, could have later on been a spy letter even on Tim's brother. Which shows how the war brings out the worst in people. They send spy letters on the solders and make the solders brother basically send their own brothers dead note.

"Maybe they'll win"

The language in this quotation From My Brother Sam Is Dead shows how over time with the war, Tim has become more optimistic towards the Rebels. He has come from the thought of them fighting against the king as a total waste of time to thinking that the Rebels have a chance to win. This shows how over time with hearing from the news and people that come into their tavern, he has thought differently. This was also a big moment in the book because it is one of the first times where Tim has though for himself and has his own options. Which shows Tim's character development.

"Sir, Its worth dying to be free."

Here, the beliefs and values of Sam are shown by him willing to give up his life for others freedom. Sam believes that it is worth dying to be free which shows his bravery. It also shows his determination to be free. It tells the reader right from the start what Sam believes in. Even though he lives a Torie town and his family is patriots he fights for his family. Him believing that it is worth dying to be free also shows his stupidity. Sam is a young man who has barley been in the real world and now wants to fight for it.

"Then he stopped jerking."

This quotation from My Brother Sam Is Dead represents the theme of MBSID because it truly shows what the whole book was trying to show. "War makes animals out of men" Tim's mom said and she is true. The solders killed Sam for causing a crime he didn't commit. It shows how during the war nothing is out of the ordinary. War brings out either the best of people or the worst. In this case it brought out mostly the worst.