Red Convertible Short Story Analysis

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An Analysis of Louise Erdich’s “Red Convertible”
The “Red Convertible” by Louise Erdich is a realistic short story which presents readers a picture of the effects of the Vietnam War on American Indian families, which reflected the
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They pass it off saying, “We told them we knew we had the same mother, anyways”, this continues to show the reader Henry’s care-free attitude and Henry’s influence on Lyman as Lyman agrees to everything Henry says (307). Towards the end of their trip Susy goes to show them her hair. Then “Henry did something funny” (307). Susy’s hair reaches to the ground and Henry thought it would be funny to lift Susy onto his shoulders, and jokes “I always wondered what it was like to have long pretty hair” (307). Which results in “a funny sight” and only in a “way he (Henry) did it” (307). The way the narrator (Lyman) describes Henry in an adoring way, it shows his idolization to his brother.
Finally they much leave Chicken and all their fun times. They return home just in time as Henry must sadly go off to war. As Henry prepares to leave, the image of the car reflects the brother’s current relationship. Henry’s departure leaves the car worn and shabby. The car is deteriorating just like the distance of war makes the brothers relationship strained. The brothers must say goodbye to their sweet youthful freedom and say hello to
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At the beginning of the narrative, the brothers enjoy a carefree camaraderie as they take off in their new car and travel from state to state, visiting other reservations. Their visit to Alaska takes on an otherworldly quality in that their stay with Susy’s family harkens back to the distant past when Native American traditions remained intact and unsullied by European influence. During the summer they spend in Chicken, they live in mythic time in a place in which the sun never sets and each day flows seamlessly into the next. Just before they leave for home, Henry dances with Susy perched on his shoulders, her long hair swinging around him. He comments that he always wondered what it would be like to have long hair. Ironically, his “borrowing” of a woman’s tresses is the closest he comes to resembling his warrior ancestors. As a contemporary United States Marine, his hair is shorn, and he is sent to fight in a controversial war against a nation that is no direct threat to his own country. His disillusionment coupled with the humiliation of his imprisonment as a prisoner of war cause him to lose his innocent idealism as well as his cultural bearings. Henry’s mental state has a direct impact on his family, especially his brother. Lyman is deeply hurt over Henry’s death, he feels his brother gave up on him, when Lyman never gave up on Henry. Now “Lyman walks everywhere he goes” (305). Henry’s postwar illness and

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