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Essay on the red convertible by louise erdrich

The only time he sits still is when he is watching TV, and even then it is like he is under hypnosis. He sat in his chair gripping the armrests with all his might, as if the chair itself was moving at a high speed and if he let go at all he would rocket forward and maybe crash right through the set.

Even though the car is all beat up, Henry chooses to fix it up, just like Lyman suspected. Henry could have just as easily decided to get rid of the car or sell it, but his passion to rebuild the car proves that he too loves the red convertible because of what it represents and means to the two of them.

Just like any car, it accumulates wear and tear and some damages. When they first buy the car, their relationship is new and blossoming. Henry and Lyman are young and out traveling, about to begin enjoying their summer.

The Red Convertible Essay

Really as if it was alive. There is a feeling of buying a new shiny car, a new season, freshness, cleanliness, and just an overall feeling of comfort surrounding Henry and Lyman and their new purchase together. The car is up on blocks, not moving, at a standstill, just like their relationship.

Lyman tries to inject the convertible with new life, while he and Henry try to start their relationship over.

Henry clearly is not the same man upon returning from the war, and his relationship with his brother begins deteriorating because of the effects of the mental and physical trauma he has suffered overseas. Just like their relationship is suffering damages, the convertible soon begins to suffer damages as well at the hands of Lyman and his hammer.

The two of them endured so much together and apart from one another, and every time there was a change in their lives, the convertible underwent changes too.

After Henry drowns and the lights die on the Oldsmobile, there is a sense of symbolism involved with the river that ties together along with the symbol of the car and the theme of brotherhood.

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The way Erdrich ends the story gives the reader the idea of eternal life. The river will always be going and running, it will always be in motion and will never run dry, just like Henry and Lymans relationship and love for each other will always be eternally flowing.

  1. Brothers bought the car together and they did not need to discuss it — they understood each other without a word. It is important to mention, that the narrator describes his family with little but accurate details.
  2. Sterling Publishing Company, Inc. Just like any car, it accumulates wear and tear and some damages.
  3. As stated before, this was the problem of the whole generation, and the author discloses it with her novel.
  4. He went through the terrible war and captivity and stayed alive — but when he returns home, he understands that he can not live anymore, and thus he had no reason to survive. The air was not too still, not too windy either.

In Native American culture they are very in touch with nature and it is involved in their way of life. From ancient times, Native Americans have tried to live in harmony with the elements and forces of nature Noe 10. Although he says he is just jumping in the river to cool off, clearly it is a suicide. He jumps in the river with his boots on, it is highly doubtful he had another pair of boots to change in to.

“The Red Convertible” by Louise Erdrich’s Essay

Granted, Henry was not all there, mentally, after the war, but physically he was made out to be in great shape. However, it is bittersweet that Lyman lets the bond they shared, their red convertible, rest at the bottom of the Red River along with his brother.

Works Cited Beidler, Peter G. University of Missouri Press, 2006. Upper Saddle River, NJ: The Wisdom of the Four Winds. Sterling Publishing Company, Inc. How to cite this page Choose cite format: