The Red Convertible Short Story Analysis Essay

774 WordsMar 6, 20134 Pages
Chase Brown Oliva 9/22/12 English 102 Short Story Analysis: The Red Convertible “The Red Convertible” by Louise Erdrich is a short story about two Native American brothers, Lyman and Henry, and their growing bond as brothers. Symbolism is used rather heavily in this story. One of the main symbols of the story, as noted in the title, is the red convertible. The red convertible symbolizes the relationship status of the two brothers, and the struggles they face as Henry is drafted into the Vietnam War as well as when he returns home. In the beginning of the story, Lyman and Henry go in together and purchase a red Oldsmobile convertible. In the beginning the condition of the convertible was fantastic. Although the story never…show more content…
Lyman soon realized he was wrong. The war had torn Henry to the point that he would stare lifelessly at a television screen for hours on end. He had not said more than a few words to Lyman for some time. Angered, Lyman purposefully damages the red convertible to get the attention of his brother. The damaging of the car represents the anger felt by Lyman that the relationship with his brother had been destroyed by the war. By destroying the car, Lyman is metaphorically changing the condition of the red convertible to match that of their brotherly bond. “Now I don’t even know if I can get it to start again, let alone get it anywhere near its old condition.” (Erdrich 328) Henry states about the car, symbolizing his feelings towards their relationship. In the final portion of the story, Henry finally fixes the car back into decent condition after Lyman damages it. At this point in the story, the audience is thinking that the relationship is mended as the brothers take the newly restored red convertible for a leisure ride to the river. As Lyman and Henry load the trunk with a full cooler, Lyman gets the same feeling. Henry is joking and laughing, and it seems as if the bond between the brothers is restored until they reach the river. At the river they get into a scuffle over who will keep the car. The fight is soon brushed off as the brothers laugh and drink their troubles away by the river. “Got to

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