Tragedy Of War In Richard Erdrich's The Red Convertible

Words: 472
Pages: 2

Both brothers withstand the tragedy of war, therefore Lyman’s past is narrated through a nostalgia lens. The protagonist reflects on how he felt the time he first saw the red convertible with Henry as a joyful memory suspended in time: “There it was, parked, large as life. Really as if it were alive,” (Erdrich 417). Through his perspective, the audience gains a clear understanding of his feelings toward the convertible, which symbolizes how he perceives their relationship. Additionally, the author includes the photograph that Bonita captured of Henry to signify the change in his personality after he served as a Marine in the Vietnam War. Through visual imagery, the picture shows a contrast in Henry’s physical appearance: “…the shadows on his face as deep as holes. There are two shadows curved like little hooks around the ends of his smile…” indicating that he experienced post-traumatic stress from the war, (421). Through Lyman’s narration, the audience understands his dislike towards the photograph of Henry because it reminds him of how they both became distant: “…Lyman takes a moment to digress from his narrative to recall a picture of his brother he is forced to put away due to the painful memories it evokes, (Kryhoski). Readers sympathize toward Lyman because looking at the photograph of them both, what once was a joyful memory, is painful to him. Viewing the picture made him so upset that he: “…put …show more content…
Because audience members are influenced by Lyman’s perspective, readers can sympathize more towards Lyman. Additionally, the author exploits the symbol of the red convertible to represent their different personalities and attitudes toward the Vietnam War. Through indirect characterization, Erdrich’s ultimate purpose is to portray how nostalgia relates more so to specific memories, and the underlying emotions that the main characters