The Red Convertible
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 both brothers. One important element that has a powerful lesson in the story is the road trip. While Lyman and Henry went on a drive one afternoon, they met a girl named Susy in the middle of the road. Susy had her hair in buns around her ears and was very short. They let her jump in the car and they take her to Alaska, where she lives. They stood in Alaska for a while and the night before they went back home, Susy stood up on a chair and unclipped her hair, and it reached to the ground. They were both astonished when they saw her hair. Not only because it was very long, but perhaps because they never seen her hair from that perspective, “You couldn’t tell how much hair she had when it’s rolled up so neatly”. The moral of that scene was that even if we see things one way, there is always a different perspective to see it. Even the relationship that anyone can have with someone else can be seen in different perspectives.
Another important element in the story is the effect that the war brought between both brothers. Henry is drafted to Vietnam as a soldier and when he returns from the war, he is nothing like his old self. As Lyman says laconically, “the changes in him from the war were no good.” Here you see that the effect of the war was negative. Lyman describes Henry as “quiet; he does not laugh, and when he did it was like a man choking; and he was jumpy and mean”. This change, made a negative effect on the bond that both brothers shared. From this point on, Henry did not even look at the car that he and Lyman owned together. Obviously, they did not travel anymore or went anywhere together as before. This bothered Lyman, and attempting to bring him back to his own self, Lyman destroys the car and waits for Henry to find it. When Henry finds it, he begins fixing it, and as months passed by, he begins to act a little different. He was not as jumpy and disturbed as he was when he returned from the war. He finishes with the car, leaving it almost as good as it was before. He invites Lyman to go on a ride as they used to do before. They arrived at the river and begin drinking beer and laughing together. All of a sudden, Henry says, “got to cool me off” and troughs himself in the river, and let the current take him. Before he was gone he said, “My boots are filling”. He probably meant that he was tired of living, waiting for his dreams and hopes to be fulfilled and being stuck in two different cultures. After Henry says this, he finally disappears, separating what was once a relationship between two...