The Red Convertible By Louise Erdrich

882 Words4 Pages
In the story, “The Red Convertible,” Louise Erdrich describes the bonding between two brothers, Lyman and Henry. The brothers share the car together and travel beyond the reservation where they grew up at young age when most of us still trying to figure out our role in society. The narrator, Lyman, portrays his bother as fun-loving, carefree individual who can socially mingle with anyone, but his personality dramatically changes after he comes back from the Vietnam War. Lyman tries to aid his brother to come to the previous state of mind by intentionally destroying his red convertible by beating it with hammer. However, Henry understands his brother’s effort, and work hard on healing himself by fixing the car. Unfortunately, Henry feels failure at his attempt, yet he reconnects with his brother for a short period of time; he ends his life by filling his boots with water and sinking to the bottom of the river. Lyman lets the car into the water as well with understanding that his brother’s wounds were too deep to bring him back to old self. Erdrich, in this story, explores the issue of post-traumatic stress disorder which has life-threatening consequences on one’s life as well as their family. The story is told by Lyman, the narrator, as first person point of view. This point of view clearly connects the reader with emotional connection between brothers. Through Lyman, the readers also comprehend the change in Henry before and after the war without knowing his thoughts.
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