This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

The Effects Of Vietnam War In The Red Convertible By Louise Erdich

2491 words - 10 pages

:
An Analysis of Louise Erdich’s “Red Convertible”
The “Red Convertible” by Louise Erdich is a realistic short story which presents readers a picture of the effects of the Vietnam War on American Indian families, which reflected the existing situation of Native Americans at that time. Erdrich is of Chippewa Indian decent and is well known for her psychological depth in literature. In the story “Red Convertible” we (as the readers) follow along as Lyman narrates the blissful times of his youth to the tragic death of his brother. Two young brothers, Lyman and Henry set off on an adventure with their new red convertible. On this trip they form a deep bond as brothers. The red convertible is a symbol of their relationship, it reflects the state of the brother’s relationship as it goes up and down. Their bond loosens when Henry is drafted into the War and returns a different person. Louise uses her story to help today’s readers understand the effects of war on families in the 1970’s.
The character Lyman is the younger brother of Henry. From a young age Lyman has always been able to take care of himself. Lyman describes himself as “lucky” and having a talent for “always making money” (306). At fifteen he starts out as a simple dishwasher at the Joliet Café. He manages to work his way up to owning the restaurant by sixteen, but tragedy struck and Lyman lost it all. Lyman was a smart young man, he had the restaurant insured. His characteristics are those of a boy trying to grow up too fast. He seems as if he’s in a hurry, trying to catch up to someone. Could he be comparing himself to his older brother Henry? Or could he simply be training to take care of the family as a foreshadowing of Henry leaving.
Henry is Lyman’s older brother. Henry is seen as the comic relief almost. Every joke or origin of laughter in the story, all came from Henry. He is the radiant sun which Lyman grows from. Henry is described as being “built like a brick outhouse…He had a nose big and sharp as a hatchet.” (308). In the beginning of the story Henry gets laid off at work. He does not seem as distraught as Lyman over his loss. Henry simply does not care as much as Lyman does, this contributes to Henry’s care-free character. He is content to living day to day.
It is clear that the brothers love each other. Lyman often refers to Henry as “my brother” instead of simply Henry, this shows he puts effort into recognizing his brother with respect and love (307). When they first see the car, they do not argue over it like petty siblings normally do. Instead the brothers decide, together, that the car belongs to both of them. They drove in the car together and spend time together in that car. They even decide to go on a road trip together. Road trips have been known to bring people closer together. It is the adventure and experience people encounter that brings them closer as people and grow as human.
At this point the car is still new and fresh. Just like the brother’s...

Find Another Essay On The Effects of Vietnam War in The Red Convertible by Louise Erdich

The Red Convertible by Louise Erdrich

1356 words - 5 pages PTSD, also known as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, can cause change and bring about pain and stress in many different forms to the families of the victims of PTSD. These changes can be immense and sometimes unbearable. PTSD relates to the characters relationship as a whole after Henry returns from the army and it caused Henry and Lyman’s relationship to crumble. The Red Convertible that was bought in the story is a symbol of their brotherhood

Transformation in Louise Erdrich's The Red Convertible

1182 words - 5 pages Transformation in Louise Erdrich's The Red Convertible        In Louise Erdrich's "The Red Convertible," the two main characters start off doing seemingly well. However, there are many changes that these two young men go through during the story. Henry experiences the largest transformation due to his involvement in the Vietnam War. This transformation also alters Henry's brother, Lyman, although not for the same reasons. As the story

Louise Erdrich's The Red Convertible

1283 words - 6 pages in the absence of his company. The welfare of the family that used to be happy diminished immediately after the death of Henry, as the social bond between the two brothers no longer exists. The rights of individuals are respected by the community as illustrated when Henry flee to Vietnam immediately after their journey from Alaska without his brother rebellion. Works Cited Erdrich, Louise. “The Red Convertible.” The Story and Its Writer

Brothers' Relationship: The Red Convertible by Louise Erdrich

1359 words - 5 pages The relationship of brothers usually lasts forever, but in Louise Erdrich’s short story “The Red Convertible”, the relationship of the main characters Lyman and Henry takes a turn. Erdrich takes her audience through the experiences these brothers face and how they must come to terms that their relationship has changed. Knowing that it will most likely never be the same both Lyman and Henry try to fix their relationship until eventually one

To Change in Louise Erdrich's Red Convertible and The Shaw

1093 words - 4 pages , from the first sentence of each short story, the audience knows that change is going to be a common topic throughout the remainder of the stories. In the story of “Red Convertible” Henry owns a red convertible, which is his pride and joy. But after his departure and return from the Vietnam War, both he and the convertible have changed. Henry, as noticed by the narrator, Lyman, “was very different, and… the change was no good.” So Lyman, thinking

Sibling Influence in The Red Convertible by Louise Erdrich and Sonny’s Blues by James Baldwin

932 words - 4 pages “The Red Convertible” by Louise Erdrich and “Sonny’s Blues” by James Baldwin, both accounts of brotherly experience shown through separation and drug abuse.      Both “The Red Convertible” and “Sonny’s Blues” revolve around brotherly connection. In “The Red Convertible,” the main speaker Lyman uses his red convertible, one he shares with his brother, as an analogy to their relationship. While reminiscing about his

Life of Two Brothers and a Red Convertible by Louise Erdrich

720 words - 3 pages In “The Red Convertible,” by Louise Erdrich, she shows how the war changes people when they get out. People that go to war often feel they will change due to war, and will not know how to react to being back home. This is proven by the plot of the story because the brothers’ relationship changed due to the war. Henry and Lyman went from being traveling buddies and good friends to hardly any contact. Erdrich uses Henry as a symbol showing

Narrative Mythology in the Red Corvette by Lois Erdich

1804 words - 7 pages 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

"The Red Convertible" by Louse Erdrich

618 words - 2 pages When a reader hears the title, "The Red Convertible", he/she thinks; summer, road trips, and driving fast on the open roads. However, this is the story about a man that is mentally damaged by the events of the war, and also how it effects his whole family. Henry was a happy, loving, and sane man before being drafted, but when he came back he was a completely different person. The war effected Henry in a way that many of our soldiers were

The Red Convertible

1175 words - 5 pages The Red Convertible Vanished Brotherhood In the short story “The Red Convertible” you will find some important elements that are integral to the support and development of the theme brotherhood. First, you will see how the road trip gives a lesson in the story. Second, you will discover how the war affected the relationship of Lyman and Henry. Finally, you will understand the symbolism of the red convertible and the link it has between

Effects of the American Air War in Vietnam

1264 words - 5 pages Neilands, J.B., Orians, Gordon H., Pfeiffer, E.W., Vennema, Alje, and Westing, Arthur H. Harvest Of Death: Chemical Warfare In Vietnam And Cambodia. New York: Free Press, 1972.Harvest of Death is a thorough record of facts regarding chemical weapons, and the use of chemical warfare during the Vietnam War. The book covers many topics, including the development of chemical weapons, the effects on eco systems, and the effects on humans. I referred

Similar Essays

The Red Convertible, By Louise Erdich

1166 words - 5 pages It is said that when a man returns from war he is forever changed. In the short story, “The Red Convertible,” Louise Erdrich demonstrates these transformations through the use of symbolism. Erdrich employs the convertible to characterize the emotional afflictions that war creates for the soldier and his family around him by discussing the pre-deployment relationship between two brothers Henry and Lyman, Lyman's perception of Henry upon Henry's

The Effects Of War Shown In Louise Erdrich's The Red Convertible

646 words - 3 pages The Effects of War Shown in Louise Erdrich's The Red Convertible      It is always said that war changes people. In the short story 'The Red Convertible', Louise Erdrich uses Henry to show how it affects people. In this case, the effects are psychological. You can clearly see a difference between his personalities from before he goes to war compared to his personalities after returns home from the war. Before the war, he is a care-free soul

The Red Convertible By Louise Erdrich

982 words - 4 pages restore his personality, so he spends hours repairing the car. When he does, they have a glimmer of hope to remember the good times. When Henry drowns, Lyman pushes the car into the river to sink with him, representing that the connection that they once had. Erdrich uses Lyman and Henry to express the awful effects of war on relationships between soldiers and people they care about at home. War causes the change from being a boy to becoming a man. Works Cited Erdrich, Louise. “The Red Convertible.” The American Tradition in Literature Volume II: 10th ed. Eds. George Perkins and Barbara Perkins. Boston: McGraw-Hill, 2002. 1882-88. Print.

"The Red Convertible" By Louise Erdrich

654 words - 3 pages Autumn JohnsonMs. ChitaphongEnglish 318, March 2014 "The Red Convertible" By Louise ErdrichThroughout '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