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Symbolism In My Brother Sam Is Dead

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“It’s a funny thing. You’d think that if there was a war going on in your own country, it would make your life different.” (Collier 38) Tim, the protagonist, is trying to live an ordinary life during time of the Revolutionary War as he works on his family’s tavern. However, his brother Sam wants to join the Rebel Army and wants to defeat the British, otherwise known as the Loyalists who Sam and Tim’s father support as they support the king. In My Brother Sam Is Dead the author’s James Lincoln Collier and Christopher Collier use the Brown Bess to symbolize power and authority.
Throughout the story, the brothers use father getting hurt because the soldiers think that father has the gun to link to show power. For example in the text it states, “The officer looked at father, considering. Finally he said, ‘I don’t believe you.’ He raised the sword. I gasped and the officer whipped the flat side of the blade across Father's face.” (Collier 51) Here, father getting sliced shows that father was trying to be honest and saying that he doesn’t have the gun because he knows that Sam has it and took it. Also, “ I’m telling you the truth my son ran off to your army and took my gun. We have no weapons here but butcher knives.” ( Collier 51) This textual evidence shows that the officer wanted the gun and thought that father was lying about that he didn’t have the gun but the author thought he had the gun. Since the police thought father was lying so he took the knife and sliced father.
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