The Red Convertible

Submitted By 50delroy
Words: 862
Pages: 4

Delroy Collette
Michael Brush
English 102 Jan 6. 2013 Analyze “The Red Convertible” Louis Erdrich a phenomenal scholar and terrific writer have many accolades in her career as an author. One of her most famous narratives that I recently read is “The Red Convertible”. This is a story about two brothers; Henry and Lyman the main characters brotherhood relationship growing up. They had the perfect relation before Henry went off to war and the worst when he returned from the war. Furthermore, “The Red Convertible” is story of symbolism, great structure settings and tone.
The two brothers bought a red convertible car that they both absolutely fell in love with the first time seeing it. They traveled all across the country in the car, places like Montana, Alaska, Forth Behold and North Dakota. There, they met new people and developed a strong core relationship with each other. They were very close and living the sweet American dream, until Henry left Lyman the keys to the car, to go off to Vietnam War. Lyman kept the car in good shape so when Henry came back they can travel like they use too in the past. However, when Henry returned from Vietnam he wasn’t the same old brother that Lyman came to know. Henry was acting different, strange and isolated himself. It was assumed he change because the horror of Vietnam. Therefore, Lyman and Henry weren’t close as they use to be. He took a hammer and destroyed the car to catch Henry attention, which took about a month. Eventually, Henry devoted his time to putting the car back together and going on a road trip with Lyman. There they got a little bit of rehabilitation on their relationship and brought back old memories. But when everything looked as if it was back to normal; Henry jump in a river and drowns himself. Louis Erdrich uses “The Red Convertible” as symbolism to show the trials and hardship henry brought home from the battlefield, and difficulties Lyman is coping with him and his brother bad relationship. Traveling the country, meeting new people and enjoying life in general with their red convertible represents their close and loving relationship. When Henry goes off to war Lyman hardly herd from his brother their relationship changes, so he takes the car apart eventually putting it back in tip top shape just in time for Henry return. When he came back, Henry loses all interest in the car, also him and his brother’s good relationship. So Lyman destroys the car because he felt neglected and wanted attention. Destroying the car shows how bad their relationship is at this point. Henry discovers the car, as well as his relationship with Lyman is damaged, he confronts Lyman, "When I left, that car was running like a watch. Now I don't even know I can get it to start again, let alone get it anywhere near its old condition" (Louise Erdrich The Red Convertible 445). Henry devotes his time into fixing the car and asking Lyman to go on a road trip with him. Repairing the car portrays Henry attempt to fix his relation between him and his brother. But Lyman was fooled, on their trip Henry later jumped into a river and drowned himself. Lyman new his brother was gone so he drove their red convertible in river watching it wash away and later sinking it in the river just like his brother…