The Red Convertible By Louise Erdrich

Good Essays
Personal bonds between individuals are some of the most important things people have and cherish in life. These bonds hold people together in times of strength and of weakness. Some of the most important bonds are of those between family members. In the short story, the Red Convertible, by Louise Erdrich, there is a brotherly bond between two Native American brothers. This story is meant to show the reader how tight bonds really are and how different objects and events can symbolize the bond. The bond in this story is the personal bond between brothers Lyman and Henry. The two brothers invested their money into an old red convertible car. By purchasing the car together, it is like two halves coming together to one piece and the beginning …show more content…
After the bloody lip incident with Henry, Lyman decided to bring the old convertible back into Henry’s life; hoping to rekindle their bond and mutual love for the car. Lyman had already fixed the car into perfect shape so he decided to do a little damage to it so Henry could start back on working on it and hopefully forget about the war and get back to normal. The brotherhood bond that was between them was still there, the old convertible just had to be fixed. After quite some time, Henry got the car running and invited Lyman to go for a ride. Their sister even came out and took a picture of the brothers; Henry with one arm on the car and the other arm around Lyman. “I still see that picture now, as if it tugs at me, whenever I pass that closet door. The picture is very clear in my mind”(398). The reader doesn’t know it yet, but that picture symbolizes the lasting bond the brothers shared while both were still …show more content…
The story plays on like the drive is going to be a great day. While down at the river, something internally took over Lyman and he knew then what it was like for Henry to be living like that. Lyman had a moment and suddenly jolted Henry as if to make him wake up and go back to normal. This event starts an episode of fighting and then uncontrollable laughing spells. Lyman thinks Henry might be going back to his old self; unfortunately that is not the case. Henry soon decides to jump into the freezing raging Red River. Since there was no splash, Lyman went over and know what had happened to his brother. Lyman then decided to keep the strength of their brotherly bond and help Henry one last time. His brother had done so much for his family and his country that Lyman did not want to see his brother leave this world that way so he made it look like an accident. The object in this section that shows a bond is that of color. The old convertible was red in color and the ending place for Henry was called the Red River. Bonds can be shared between individuals, objects, animals, and anything else of importance to someone. Bonds between family members are some of the strongest bonds. In order to form a strong and everlasting bond, each person and/or object must invest time and love into the bond to ensure it will last a lifetime. The Red Convertible is a great story that shows the strong bond between two brothers and the symbol of

Related Documents

  • Decent Essays

    The author writes, “Well I guess it’s none of my business” (126) … “Then I kept in constant touch with him and sent him whatever I could” (127). The reader begins to see a war of emotions taking place in the mind of the older brother. Though he doesn’t want Sonny to be his “business”, Sonny becomes his business because of the inherent brotherly love he has towards him. On the contrary, In the story of “The Red Convertible” Lyman, the younger brother takes on the role of being a guide to assist his older brother in overcome his suffering from PTHD. Though this may seem counter intuitive, d’Souza claims, “While older siblings compete with their younger ones for attention, the younger ones, imitate habits of the older ones leading…

    • 1052 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    When the convertible is first bought the relationship between the brothers’ is easy going, live in the moment, with a strong bond. The red convertible itself undergoes through similar stages as Lyman and Henry’s relationship. It symbolizes their relationship from the beginning to end. When the convertible is not functional it symbolizes the brothers relationship after the war.“I took myself a hammer. I went out to that car and I did number on its underside.…

    • 782 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Once the car was fixed they take a picture where Henry finally smiled and took a trip to the river; the first one in years. On this trip Lyman finally starts to get his brother back but it was all an illusion and in the end Henry waded into the river and was never to be seen again. As a result of this tragedy Lyman pushes the car into the water with the engine running and the headlights on. At first it appears he does this in hope of seeing Henry somewhere in the murky water and the crashing current but soon realizes that every time he would look at that car he would remember the night he both gained and lost his older brother. Although it also appears Lyman lost a part of himself among the murky waters of the river on that horrible night.…

    • 1015 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Kurt gave Marlow a packet of photographs and papers, and just like in Apocalypse now he was ready to die and wanted Marlow and Willard to tell his family about the great things he 's done and the life he lived out at the Inner station. Marlow keeps his promise, he goes back to his family, yet is unable to bring himself to tell the full truth about Kurtz’s business. Whereas it is unclear if Willard goes to the family, but it is easy to assume the that Marlow did not follow through with Kurtz’s…

    • 1223 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    The sun was shining very bright” (246), Lyman says. Spring is a metaphor for a new beginning, this implies that after the repairs on the convertible is done, maybe their brotherly bond will bloom again. But it wasn’t until the brothers felt like they were together again when Henry jumps and drowns in the river. That is also when Lyman has an epiphany, he realizes that his brother is in a better place now, and decides to let the car go with his brother, into the river. The car, now in the water with Henry symbolizes closure and burial of their brotherly bond, this allows the both of them to move on without each…

    • 1164 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    The Car Christine

    • 1098 Words
    • 5 Pages

    In the film, a 1958 Plymouth Fury, nicknamed Christine is fixed up by a bullied young man named Arnie. After Arnie restores the car and becomes more attached to it, the car attempts to get rid of all other distractions in Arnie’s life. This includes his girlfriend, the boys who bullied him, and his best friend. The car has a mind of its own and will operate itself without…

    • 1098 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Lyman desperately tried to find a way to bring back his old brotherly connection. Lyman intention was to damage the automobile, so that his brother Henry would have no choice but to fix it. Henry Finally understood that what Lyman was trying to do was get his attention. Since Henry was alone during the time he was at war he knew how it feels. In the two stories…

    • 2049 Words
    • 9 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Like Jay Gatsby in The Great Gatsby, a proclaimed millionaire with all the cars and speed he wants. He loves his cars and they show who this wild man is and what he wants. In the Red Convertible, Henry and Lyman both love the red convertible but over time and after the Vietnam War the car had a different affect on the Brothers. In Skunk Hour cars have a different meaning. It is a place to hide, watch, and creep.…

    • 1771 Words
    • 8 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    having older brothers to look up to is something that I have always been grateful for. In comparison with Lyon I believe that siblings are each other first friends. Even though me and brothers had our differeneces in the past, they all are my closest friends. Also another similarity is that we both believe that older siblings inspire the younger ones to be different from them (Lyon, 2009, para 9). Both the author and I value that siblings are the people that turlu shape our lives.…

    • 779 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    This quote from the novel shows the intensity of their love and it shows that sometimes love isn't easy. Another reason I would recommend this book is because its a story about an underdog. The main character had a rough life but in the end he did a lot of good, worth while things, “He had saved Alan's life- but in the end, he'd saved Jared's as well. And for her that meant...everything. 'I gave you the best of me,' he'd told her once, and with every beat of her son's heart, she knew he'd done exactly that”.…

    • 703 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Decent Essays