Essay on The White Mountains and My Brother Sam Is Dead

708 Words3 Pages
The White Mountains and My Brother Sam Is Dead

During childhood and adolescence, we are all faced with decisions that will affect our futures. Even a simple choice such as choosing books to read or clothes to wear can make an impact on our lives. The decisions made by Will Parker in The White Mountains and Sam Meeker in My Brother Sam Is Dead, however, are of a much greater magnitude. Their difficult decisions change the lives of many other characters. By choosing to go against their families' beliefs, Will and Sam both become orphans. The two young men are cast out into a dangerous world and have to learn about independence and its hardships.

From the very beginning of The White Mountains, Will Parker clearly observes that Capping is a questionable and unethical process: "Why should the Tripods take people away and Cap them? What right have they?" (19) He believes that each person should be allowed to control him or herself and that no machine should be in supreme command. Will's decision to leave home shows this, and his escape to the mountains proves that the Tripods can't make everyone a follower. Will and his friends experience many close calls but are never captured. Will also is tempted to become Capped by the lure of a pretty girl's face (Eloise). He learns that "Before Capping there might be doubts and uncertainties and revulsion. . . . When the Cap was put on the doubts vanished" (133). After hearing this, Will almost gives in to Capping, but then he realizes that in doing so, he would be going against all of his beliefs.

In My Brother Sam Is Dead, Sam Meeker clearly shows what he believes by enlisting in the American Revolutionary Army. Even if it means losing his father's love and trust forever, Sam feels that what England is doing to the colonies is wrong. He also knows that if he doesn't fight on the American side, his soul would never rest. Sam Meeker risks everything, including his life, to support and defend the new United States and all of his beliefs. He and the other soldiers could have easily given up and gone home, but they know that by letting the British win, they would show everyone how weak the American army, as a whole, really is. His brave decision to stay does cost him his life, but it also helps to ensure that the Unites States would be free of England.

More about Essay on The White Mountains and My Brother Sam Is Dead

Open Document