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Symbolism In The Red Convertible Essay

"The Red Convertible" By Louise Erdrich

Autumn Johnson

Ms. Chitaphong

English 3

18, March 2014

"The Red Convertible" By Louise Erdrich

Throughout 'The Red Convertible," Louise Erdrich develops three major characters in the story who play a role in foreshadowing its tragic and dramatic ending. The three characters are Henry, Lyman and the red convertible.

On page 114 Henry says to Lyman, "Got to cool me off". Henry then proceeds to jump in the river. He foreshadows what's going to happen to him at the end of the story. Also on page 114 Lyman says "My boots are filling". This shows us that something is going to happen to him. That he is most likely going to drown. Henry gives us plenty of clues that he isn't going to make it after he came home from the war things were be different. He was distant from his family and from the world itself. Everyone was worried about him especially his brother Lyman. The war messed him up and now he couldn't get a grip on society and how things were when he came back home. No one wanted to be around him because they all thought he was crazy deranged and that he had lost his mind.

Lyman shows us things that foreshadow the ending the story. Lyman knows that Henry has changed dramatically after coming home from the war. When Wheeeerfwer When they were both watching television together, Henry bit through his lip he probably didn't notice it but everybody else did when they were at the dinner table together. Lyman was tense he wasn't his usual free self. In the beginning of the story he was free. Henry and Lyman were always together lying in the grass just enjoying nature or riding in the red convertible. When Lyman came...

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October 1st, 2012
Symbolism in the Red Convertible
In writing, authors use symbolism to relay a deeper meaning to what they actually write. This technique captures important elements and gives the reader an idea of the theme of the story without the author directly telling them. Louise Erdrich uses symbolism to help emphasize and reveal the themes and message of her stories. “The Red Convertible,” by Erdrich, is a story about brotherly love as the highest value between two brothers, Lyman and Henry, and also about the difficulties veterans of war and their families face at post-war times. Symbolism plays a big part in this story, revealing the hardships Henry brings home from the battlefields of Vietnam, and to show Lyman's difficulties…show more content…

The two brothers by the car on impulse, using all the money they had with them, and soon it becomes their source of fun, adventure, and relaxation. This car creates a strong bond between them. Both brothers owned the car and left a part of them attached to the car. Henry then goes off to war, and hands his keys to Lyman, but the car is abandoned just like the brothers relationship. The war has broken the attachment between the brothers. From this point, the boys try to give full ownership of the car to the other brother, realizing that neither of the brothers can own the entire red convertible for himself, because they both have part of themselves sentimentally attached to it. When Henry drowns, Lyman is compelled to drive the car in the river, destroying the part of the car that was Henrys. Without Henry, half of the car is symbolically missing and Lyman knows he cannot ever drive the car again because car was only driven when the boys were attached.
The Oldsmobile could also be seen as a symbol of brotherhood and the war-torn relationships of soldiers when they return home. When they bought the car, they did not need to discuss it because they understood each other without saying a word. They travel together, and this represents a normal, healthy brotherly relationship. When Henry returned a changed man, he was not interested in anything, including Lyman and the car. Lyman understood and caught on that his brother did not care for life anymore because