It is always difficult to deal with the loss of something that is precious to you. You try to understand what went wrong and try to overcome it, staying optimistic. This occurs in "The Sweet Hereafter" in which Mitchell Stephens and Sam Burnell are two characters in the story who have similar characteristics. They are both fathers who have lost their daughter in some way. They come from different backgrounds yet have similar values. Also, they are driven by inner motives which they want to fulfill.
Mitchell Stephens and Sam Burnell have both lost their daughters in a way. Zoe, Mitchell Stephens' daughter, has become a drug addict and has HIV. Nicole, Sam Burnell's daughter, has become paralyzed from the waist down after the accident. Although their conditions are different, they are no longer the people they used to be. Zoe only calls her father for money and is always getting angry at him. Nicole does not like being around her father anymore and wants to stay away from him. In the past they were both loving towards their father's, but now they have distant themselves from them.
Although Mitchell Stephens and Sam Burnell both come from different backgrounds they both have similar values. Mitchell Stephens and Sam Burnell both love their daughters and they want to make them happy. Mitchell Stephens is always sending his daughter Zoe money when she asks even though he knows she is going to spend it on drugs, but he can't just abandon her. Sam Burnell builds Zoe a ramp in front of the house and widens the doors so she can easily get in. He also helps create a new room for her, always trying to comfort her. Mitchell Stephens and Sam Burnell give their daughters what they want since it is the only thing they can do for them.
Furthermore, Mitchell Stephens and Sam Burnell have similar inner motives. They both want to help someone. Mitchell Stephens wants to help the parents of the victims. He knows how they must be feeling