Post Traumatic Stress and the Brothers' Relationship in The Red Convertible by Louise Erdrich

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Henry Fosdick once said, “The tragedy of war is that it uses man’s best to do man’s worst.” In “The Red Convertible” by Louis Erdrich, there is a conflict amongst two brothers, Henry and Lyman as ones awareness towards reality is shifted upon the return of the Vietnam War. Henry’s experience fighting in the Vietnam War is the responsibility for the unexpected aftermath that affects their brotherhood. The event of Henry fighting in the war through fears, emotions and horrors that he encounters is the source of his “Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome [PTSD].” It has shaped his own perception of reality and his relationship with his brother Lyman and the strong bond that they had shared. War changes a person in ways that can never be …show more content…

Henry being so consciously aware of the reoccurring violence and deaths of many soldiers causes him to constantly reminisce about the war in Vietnam and its horrific events. “PTSD” however, is very common amongst veterans. My father who had fought in the Vietnam War had “PTSD.” And even after many years of prior to the war, his past always seemed to have consumed his reality. The violent images and emotional feelings about the war in Vietnam have caused him to visualize the war in a form of a nightmare whenever he sleeps. This can explain his frequent sleep talks at night about the Vietnam War as he screams “giết tất cả” which translates to kill them all. Of course he had it coming that the cause of his children to become distant towards him was because of his unexplained actions. But nonetheless, it is the result of many pasts that is the responsibility of shaping ones fear and sensation towards life. The returning of a dramatic event disables a soldier to adapt accordingly to everyday life. Ones conscious of reality is infringed upon Posttraumatic experiences of warfare, which unleashes an outbreak of inhumane actions directed towards existence and significant others. As the short story progresses after the event of the Vietnam War, the narrator says referring to Henry that: “He’d always had a joke, then, too, and now you couldn’t get him to laugh,

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