Comparing The Watsons Go to Birmingham-1963 and My Brother Sam Is Dead

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Comparing The Watsons Go to Birmingham-1963 and My Brother Sam Is Dead

In the novels The Watsons Go to Birmingham-1963 by Christopher Paul Curtis and My Brother Sam Is Dead by James Lincoln Collier and Christopher Collier, two young boys are faced with the challenge of learning the moral and ethical codes that will shape their futures. Kenny Watson and Tim Meeker live in very different times, but they face events that complicate their lives. Though one boy learns his morals through playful encounters and the other is forced to educate himself during a war, the conclusion of each story shows that both characters have successfully found sets of rules to follow.

Kenny has to learn what is morally right through playful incidents. When Byron, his older brother, plays pranks and repeatedly disobeys rules, Kenny notices the disappointment on his parents' faces. Even though Kenny knows that the path his brother chooses to take is not wise, he views this as the adventurous way of life, and he is torn between becoming a shadow of his brother, who always seems to be having fun, or being the good, orderly son.

Tim Meeker is forced to choose either the Tory side or the Rebel side of the Revolutionary War, and from there, he has to defend his beliefs and opi...

... middle of paper ... to see whether being like Byron is the right way to go, Kenny takes a swim in a dangerous body of water, which is something that even Byron would not have attempted. As a result, Kenny comes close to drowning, and he needs the assistance of his older brother to get himself out of the life-threatening situation. From then on, Kenny decides to take the path that his parents had arranged for him. Both in similar situations but facing different obstacles, Tim and Kenny finally establish strong minds that could tell the difference between right and wrong. These codes would later guide them through difficult quandaries and dilemmas.
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