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

War Changes A Man Essay

1062 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 the pre-deployment relationship between two brothers Henry and Lyman, Lyman's perception of Henry upon Henry's return, and Henry’s assumed view on life in the end of the story.

Throughout "The Red Convertible" Erdrich embraces the car as a symbol for the powerful relationship between two brothers, Henry and Lyman. The brothers combine their money to acquire a red convertible which they drove everywhere together; the car symbolized that relationship. Lyman preserved the vehicle while Henry was in the Army, deployed to Vietnam. Even when Henry gave Lyman the car, Lyman always regarded the car as Henry’s, which Erdrich depicts with the following passage, “I always thought of it as his car while he was gone, even though when he left he said, ‘Now it’s yours,’ and threw me the key.” (Erdrich 357) The brothers held their relationship with high regard, Henry trusted Lyman with the car enough to give Lyman his share of the vehicle while he was away. Conversely, Lyman surmised that that the car would always belong to Henry; just like their relationship, the car was important and would always belong to both of them. During Henry’s deployment, Lyman preserved the state of the car, he kept it in immaculate condition while waiting for Henry's return. By spending so much time caring for the car, Lyman in a way was caring for his brother. Little did Lyman know that his brother was going to come back a changed man and those changes were going to hemorrhage into Henry's relationships.

The relationship between the brothers deteriorates when Henry returns from Vietnam. Henry was a changed man after his service in the military, “When he returned home, though, Henry was very different, and I’ll say this: the change was no good... It was a fact. Henry had become jumpy and mean.” (Erdrich 357) Lyman witnesses changes in Henry's emotions and is upset by this metamorphosis, to feel better, Lyman recalls the time when Henry was always happy and cheerful, he longed for the great times that they spent together and he would much rather spend quality time with his brother Henry back int he days that they shared the convertible. "He'd always had a joke, then too, and now you could not get him to laugh." (Erdrich 357) Henry's post war issues had a further grasp than Lyman could imagine. Even when Bonita, Henry and Lyman's younger sister, photographed the two brothers in front of the car, Bonita had to tell Henry to smile and when Lyman looks at the photo later he describes, "that one, first smile that looked like might have hurt his face." (Erdrich XXX) The photo displays Lyman so rich, bright and full of life and...

Find Another Essay On War Changes a Man

How I Live Now Personal Essay

814 words - 4 pages murdered a man, but instead of going to jail, he received treatment for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder that war caused. War leaves scars on the hearts and souls of everyone it touches, never letting someone return to the way things were before battle. The atrocities of war affect countless people every day, changing their lives forever. The war that occurs in How I Live Now sparks growth in multiple crucial characters. Daisy, the narrator of the

Hemingway’s A Farewell to Arms Essay

1189 words - 5 pages permanent rain and with the rain came the cholera (10). “After a while I went out and left the hospital and walked back to the hotel in the rain": (297). Only the deaths are different. At first we hear about the deaths of thousands and then only the death of his love. Hemingway expresses the impact of love in war-time. Hemingway was known as a man’s man. He is the type of man that enjoys drinking, hunting and many other manly activities. He

critical Essay 2

836 words - 4 pages World War II had an extensive impact of the United States. In spite of all the battles being fought off America mainland, the war affected all aspects of American life back home. World War II may be known as the worst war in history, but a lot of good came out of it. If it was not for World War II many economic changes, social changes, and political changes may have never happened. Prior to WWII the economy was in bad shape. The U.S. was in

An oral Expose, on how does war create peace in "The Things They Carried" by Tim O'Brien

1249 words - 5 pages completely pure and innocent when she arrives there. However as her story progresses and she gets more and more involved with the war and Vietnam itself, she changes. "At girl's throat was a necklace of human tongues. Elongated and narrow, like pieces of blackened leather, the tongues were threaded along a length of copper wire, one overlapping the next, the tips curled upwards if caught in a final horrified syllable." (O'Brien 103) Now Mary Anne is

Evolving in Wartime: Effects of the Psyche

1650 words - 7 pages . Young teenagers looked at this and joined the army because they wanted to be considered a man. Posters were meant to encourage people to support the war, including getting young men to join the army. After World War One ended, the United States was hit by the Great Depression, but was pulled out of it by World War Two. In the mid forties, World War Two brought America’s struggling economy up to speed by employing millions of the previously

Things they carried essay

1188 words - 5 pages Man I Killed” it makes the chapter personal and not just a man that dies in the war. The depiction of the man demonstrates that this death is not just a death of a solider in a bloody war, now with introducing this explanation of a dead solider make it very intimate that a solider dies and Tim O’Brien murders this solider. O’Brien uses these gruesome details to show the deadliness of this war. O’Brien demonstrates that the war is extremely lethal

Irony, Symbolism, and Imagery Reveal the Emptiness of War in One Hundred Years of Solitude

965 words - 4 pages Liberal party" as they fell, but the aftermath of the war is that the commanding officers of these dead soldiers reversed the roles quickly, with liberal colonels giving prayerbooks as gifts. Therefore, the logical conclusion follows that war in itself is a meaningless, empty event that spills blood but changes nothing. However, it is not a coincidence that Colonel Marquez, upon his return to Macondo, is characterized by Amaranta as a man

The Effects War Has on Military Families

1571 words - 7 pages involvement unlike any other known to man, stuck with memoirs and images of what it's like to be hunted by an opposing soldier. Different types of people take different effects away from the warfront and are affected in diverse ways, but big changes after a war are unavoidable. In the stories “The Red Convertible” and “Home Soil”, the authors tell what it’s like for soldiers that come back home and what kind of change they may experience. These

An Arsenal of Democracy-Economic Growth During WWII

1029 words - 5 pages what they were used for prior to the start of the war. Somehow the government needed to find a way to raise money for the war. The Fiscal policies that were used during WWII made considerable changes to the US policy-making since it was a crucial part for the boost to the economy. Even though taxation increased during WWII it was hardly felt from the increases in wages. The taxes that were paid were 20 times more than it was before the war. The

All Quiet on the Western Front: How entering war at an early age can change a person

1190 words - 5 pages Paul Baumer is the protagonist in All Quiet on the Western Front written by Erich Maria Remarque. Paul changes his values throughout the novel as a result of having to adapt in order to survive. As Baumer struggles to survive the war, he transforms as shown by his thoughts, actions, and the conversations that he contributes in. One way that Paul changes is that his patriotism towards his country about war decreases. Paul is

The Great War: Development of Technology and Weapons

1466 words - 6 pages able to reach further distances. The rifle was the main weapon used by Great Britain soldiers, because it could kill a man from 1,400 meters away and shoot 15 rounds per minute. Soldiers still used bayonets, which was a stabbing blade that could be attached on to the front of a rifle. Another big gun used in the war was a machine gun, these guns were very powerful and needed a group of men to work it; although, it was worth it because it could

Similar Essays

How War Changes A Man Essay

823 words - 4 pages When reading the short story “Soldiers Home” by Ernest Hemingway there may be a few comprehensive questions that could be brought up. One question that could be immediately accumulated from reading the short story is; How has the war affected Krebs? This is relevant because there are many incidences where Krebs shows that he is in fact a changed man now that he is back from the war. It’s interesting because it gives us a realistic view from what

Macbeth And Jerry(Chocolate War) Related To The Quote By British Author Aldous Huxley "Experience Is Not What Happens To A Man. It Is What A Man Does With What Happens To Him."

580 words - 2 pages , after he kills Duncan he tries to wash his hands, but is vexed with the feeling that the crime has stained him in a way that cannot be washed clean. He cries, "Will all great Neptune's ocean wash this blood clean from my hand?" Characterization shows the radical changes that have occurred to Macbeth. He starts out as a brave soldier and a powerful man, but after committing the murders his weakness emerges because of his guilt and doubt.Robert

Was Cold War A ‘War’? Essay

1151 words - 5 pages Commemoration, What was the Cold War, para.3). Therefor, they do use the client states to create a small fight; however that has instigated many of proxy war and many changes in world map. This war was ended in 1991 with the annulment of the USSR. According to Alexander Moseley, he assumes that each definition has its strength and weakness, but often is the culmination of the write's broader philosophical positions (The Philosophy of War, para.7

Critical Writing Activity: Comparing And Contrasting War Stories

981 words - 4 pages environment to survive. As time go on in both stories the war changes. In Red Badge of Courage, war itself is not changed completely but it changes the soldiers. Henry starts out not being brave, but as time goes by and he figures himself out, he becomes a man and a hero. Crane says, “By this struggle he had overcome obstacles which he had admitted to be mountains. They had fallen like paper peaks, and he was now what he called a hero. In Bell