Sam "Ramey" Abramov is the player-protagonist of our indie game/visual novel "Sam in New York." He also happens to be the narrator of the visual novel.
Born in 1900 in Lower East Side New York, Sam grew up in the shadow of Lev and Raisa, his domineering Russian-Jewish immigrant parents.
Cheerful, mischievous, and blessed with the gift of gab, Sam grows up idolizing Vaudeville and Yiddish theatre.
A bright student, he is eventually accepted into a prestigious New York law school, where for the first time in his life, he feels like a fish out of water. Throughout the visual novel, Sam struggles with being an ethno-religious minority, an increasingly strained relationship with his demanding parents, and his burgeoning love for the stage.
Sam must eventually decide whether to become a lawyer, an actor, or something else...
Throughout the course of the visual novel, Sam can also pursue various love interests and friendships, which can deeply influence his career choices (and vice versa, to some extent).
Themes in Sam's Story:
Parental-child relationship - Sam's relationship with his parents isn't always so peachy, to say the least. They are demanding and expect the best of him at all times, which stresses him out to no end.
Ethnic Identity- As the child of Russian-Jewish immigrants, Sam is an ethno-religious minority at his university. He was not a minority at his high school, which was located in an immigrant neighbourhood. Growing up, his friends were mostly Jewish and/or Italian first and second-generation immigrants, and he had little exposure to upper middle-class Anglo-American culture. Throughout the course of the visual novel, Sam also deals with the related topic of assimilation (into said culture). One of the reasons Sam may choose to change his last name to "Ramey" is because of his desire (in some of the routes, depending on your choices) to assimilate.
Finding a purpose in life: Sam feels frustrated at the beginning of the visual novel because he does not feel law school is for him. He fundamentally can't see himself as a lawyer, but he also isn't sure what he really wants in life. All he knows is that he loves the theatre. He sees acting as a way of "reinventing [himself] over and over and over again." Through playing a variety of different roles - cowboy, clown, revolutionary, artist, etc. - Sam feels free. He feels that being a lawyer is not only boring, but will also stifle his creativity.
Sam's Family and Friends:
Lev and Raisa: his overly-demanding parents, who, in Sam's own words, "suck the joy out of everything." They are prone to criticizing not only his marks, but also his choice of friends, posture (i.e. Sam slouching is a sign that he "lacks confidence" according to his parents), lifestyle choices (i.e.. coming home too late is a sign he is "straying off the proper path" and eating too much pastrami is a sign he "doesn't care about health and wants to die early"). More than anything, Lev and Raisa just want to see their son happy, successful, and healthy. Their hearts are in a good place, but the way they express their concern for their son can be...over-the-top, to say the least.
Harvey Feingold: An grandfatherly figure to Sam. Harvey is a lively 60 and the owner of Sam's favourite restaurant, "Feingold's Deli." Harvey has a tendency to be blunt, but he deeply care about Sam and hopes he can find a career he truly enjoys.
Francesco "Frankie" Amato: An old friend of Sam's from middle school. Frankie's father is the owner of a grocery and a cafe, both of which Sam often visit. Serious, observant and pragmatic, Frankie is a foil to Sam.
Joel Farber: Another old friend of Sam's from middle school. Joel is studying to become an accountant and is very nervous and shy. He hopes some of Sam and Frankie's confidence can rub off on him.
Yekaterina "Katya" Luneva: A factory worker Sam meets by chance outside of "Feingold's Deli." Quiet and determined with a spine of steel, there is more to her than meets the eye.
Solina "Lina" Williams: A flapper Sam meets when he goes to a speakeasy for the first time. Energetic, eccentric, and artistic, she encourages Sam to pursue his artistic inclinations.
Thomas Melbourne: A fellow student at Sam's law school who is the captain of the football team and appears to be a friendly but (at least initially) bland and uninteresting "goody-two-shoes." Sam can either befriend, ignore, or antagonize him.
Dean Benjamin Cox: The Dean of the Faculty of Law, Dean Cox is responsible for counselling students who have failed law courses and assigning them summer courses and make-up exams to help them graduate on time, if possible. Sam first came into contact with Dean Cox when he failed three of his first year courses and immediately butts heads with him. Dean Cox is well-meaning, but he is also arrogant with a tendency to moralize. Furthermore, his subtle bias against immigrants often angers Sam.