The Red Convertible By Louise Erdrich

982 words - 4 pages

The beginning of the story is a preview to the night Henry died. “We owned it together until his boots filled with water on a windy night and he bought out my share. Lyman walks everywhere he goes” (1882). Since Lyman now walks everywhere that means that he no longer has the car. The car was very symbolic to the story, it even gave the brothers a bond. They went everywhere together in that red convertible. They bonded by the trips they took over the states. The car was Henry’s message to Lyman, the message was to let go. Henry wanted Lyman to have the car before Henry killed himself.
Lyman Lamartine shows his struggle in trying to rescue Henry from post-traumatic stress disorder after the ...view middle of the document...

Henry had P.T.S.D. when he came back from the war. Of course almost every man did, but Henry thought he had nothing to live for.
On page 1887 Henry dies by committing suicide in the river. “I hear his voice, though, very clearly across it. ‘My boots are filling,’ he says.” Henry acts like he didn’t really care about what was happening. “He says this in a normal voice, like he just noticed and he doesn’t know what to think of it. Then he’s gone. A branch comes by. Another branch. And I go in” (1887). Lyman did not want his brother to die, he tried everything to get him back. When he could not find him he gave up and accepted that Henry was gone.
Lyman put the car in the river as a symbol of his brother’s death. Most people place a flower on the loved ones grave, but in this case the brother committed suicide in the river. So that was his grave and the red convertible was the flower. Lyman had to let go of the car because it held to many memories and he would have never been able to let go of Henry. “It is all dark. And then there is only the water, the sound of it going and running and going and running and running” (1888). When Lyman says this, it is symbolizing his freedom from his brother. Lyman no longer has his brother in his life, everything is quiet and at peace.
This story is about how we try to help those who have suffered unbearable devastation. Lyman is only seventeen and cannot know the pain that Henry suffers but he can see the difference in Henry’s behavior. Lyman is too young to realize that things will never be the same with Henry. Lyman is...

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