When reading literature, often times we attempt to use particular threads of thought or lenses of critique to gain entry into the implied historic or legendary nature of literature. To accurately process a tale in the light in which it is presented, we have to consider what we perceive from multiple viewpoints. We must take into consideration intentional and affective fallacies and the socioeconomic circumstances of the presenter/author/narrator. We also have to consider how our personal experience creates bias by placing the elements of the story into the web of relationships that we use to interpret the external world. There also is the need to factor in other external pressures, from societal norms, cultural ideals, and psychological themes, and how they impress themselves upon us from the outside in.
All of these factors are at play in the relations between the objects within a text, creating a form of reality with its own historic and mythic properties. Characters have their own histories and structures, expressed or not, and their perception into the fictional world they reside exerts influence outward to the reader of literature, or viewer of any art. This influence creates the sense of immersive reality that renders the experience to be mythic truth, based in facts but not emotion or direct perception, a somewhat distanced portrayal of events; or to be an expression of a characters perceptive truth, where we experience events much as it would be expressed in real life – confusingly and disjointed. To look into these narrative elements of a text, I will use examples from “The Red Convertible” by Lois Erdich, to demonstrate how the narration of Lyman itself is an expression of different psychoanalytic concepts, showing how Lyman deals with the situations presented in his life.
Oftentimes the lens we use when interpreting any art is based on our interpretation of the truth of the story – if a story is perceived as historically accurate, we look at the story as concrete, tangible, sensible. Other stories, perceived as unrealistic, often are posited so because they contain elements we do not see in the real world; metaphoric fantasy, symbolism, abstractness. These concepts are all based on our own filters of perception – we discern what is historically accurate and what is legend, or myth, based on our position in culture and the lenses which we view ourselves. In “The Red Convertible”, we can see these concepts at play – Lyman, narrating the story of the relationship with his brother Henry, tells a story that flows very effortlessly. Things that happen around him seem to brush off of him, as if they are no big deal.
An example of this is when the brothers are watching the TV Lyman purchased, as it is a blatant example of how Lyman is using defenses to reinterpret and repress the reality of what is occurring to his brother, and subsequently their relationship. Rather than experience the shock of his brothers biting through his...