Cremation of Sam McGee Quesitons

The Cremation of Sam McGee

Critical Thinking Questions

You know that theme is the message the author wants you, the reader, to walk away from this poem with. What is the message/theme Robert Service is trying to share with you? Be able to support your theme with evidence from the poem.

        The theme that this poem is representing is, Sam was determined to mine gold, he would do it at any cost. I have chosen this as the theme because he was determined to go and get some gold. He left his warm hometown and warm home to go to the Arctic and mine some gold.

“Why he left his home in the South to roam ’round the Pole, God only knows.”

“And that very night, as we lay packed tight in our robes beneath the snow”


What does this passage mean to you, “In the days to come, though my lips were dumb, in my heart how I cursed that load!”

          The meaning that this quote has for me is that people can do anything they want if they try hard enough. Even though they are hurting, they can still do what they want to do.


In your opinion, why didn’t Cap go back on his promise? Sam would have never known!

I think that Cap cared about Sam and wanted to stick to their promise. He respects Sam and wanted to keep that respect. If he didn’t keep his promise, he probably wouldn’t be able to live with himself knowing he isn’t capable of keeping promises.


What really happened when Cap opened that boiler? Did he really see the ghost of Sam? Was he hallucinating? What do you think, and why do you think this?

         I think that Cap was hallucinating because maybe he cared about Sam and didn’t want to accept that he was gone.