I am Sam Viewing Guide

Viewing Guide
I Am Sam
Principle cast:
Sam Dawson—Sean Penn
Rita Harrison—Michelle Pfeiffer
Lucy Dawson—Dakota Fanning
Annie Cassell—Dianne Wiest
Margaret Calgrove—Loretta Devine
Mr. Turner—Richard Schiff
Randy Carpenter—Laura Dern
1. How do the characters of Sam and Rita show
the deficiencies of the stereotype society has
in deciding who makes a “good” parent?
2. Why is Child Protective Services not
threatening to take away Willy, Rita’s son?
3. Is Sam a good parent? Why or why not? (use
examples from the film)
4. Was the government justified in taking Lucy
away from Sam? Explain. (use examples
from the film)
5. Why is society so much more accepting of
Rita’s compulsive behaviors but not Sam’s
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