An Analysis Of The Red Convertible By Louise Erdrich

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"The Red Convertible" by Louise Erdrich, is a short story that depicts the relationship between two Native American brothers Lyman and Henry Junior. The story revolves around a red Oldsmobile convertible that they both purchased after Lyman received a large insurance check. It then continues to focus on the events of their lives up until the point where Lyman loses his brother. Erdrich uses first person narration for Lyman in the passage. I think it is very important to the reader because he is the only one who really knows what it was like to share those experiences with his brother and being there to watch him drown. It really helps the reader grasp the tone and mood of the passage rather than hearing it from someone who had no relationship …show more content…
He proceeds to beat and break the car hoping that Henry will turn his attention to it and rebuild it. The beaten car represents the exhausted relationship between the brothers and by rebuilding it, Lyman hopes to mend the broken bond they once shared. In a way it helped him psychologically when Henry began fixing the car. He was more at ease and more social with Lyman and his family. Soon after he is finished repairing the car he and Lyman set out on a trip to the Red River. Once they arrived they set up camp and noticed the water was high. After a brawl between them, Henry decides to jump into the raging river and is taken by the current. His only words to Lyman are “my boots are filling”. When Lyman is unable to find Henry he allows the car to roll into the river and sink. The lights of the car while it sinks begin to flicker until finally going dark which symbolizes the death of his brother and their relationship. This was also foreshadowed when their sister Bonita snaps a picture of them before they leave. In the photo Henrys expression is forced with shadows on his face as "deep as holes”. Henry is resolute and wants to go see the high water of the river, indicating that a dark and somber mood has come over him and that he has made up his mind to end his life near the relaxing …show more content…
One way to do this is analyze the psychology of Lyman’s brother Henry Junior. In the beginning the car and his relationship with his family motivated him, but after his return from Vietnam he had little motivation from anything. He also develops many unconscious behaviors. His mind and psyche has been broken down by the horrors he has witnessed from war. While watching TV he can’t help but recall back to the painful experiences he suffered. This in turn hurts his relationship with his family. Psychological disorders play a huge role in this story because the PTSD Henry suffers from can be attributed to the main cause of his demise. War changes those for the worse and treatment can be drawn out and difficult. Today there is more awareness and knowledge of psychological disorders that our troops suffer from however many veterans from that era never received any counseling and were forced to cope in their own

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