Symbolism in The Red Convertible by Louise Erdrich - Essay Example

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The short story, “The Red Convertible,” by Louise Erdrich narrates the saga of the close bonding between two brothers, Henry and Lyman. The story is told from the point of view of the younger brother, Lyman, and it begins with his narration of them buying a car. …
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Symbolism in The Red Convertible by Louise Erdrich
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Download file to see previous pages The car becomes an integral part of the relationship between the brothers. They embark on a long trip, taking turns driving the car. On their return, Henry gets drafted into the Army where he becomes a marine. While leaving, he entrusts the car to Lyman’s care and hands over his keys. Once Henry returns home from the Vietnam War, he suffers stress disorders and, in a bid to divert Henry’s attention from the traumatic memories of war, Lyman whacks the car so Henry will focus his attention on fixing it. As expected, Henry commits himself to repairing the car. The brothers again take a trip to the Red River, where they fight, reconcile and then Henry commits suicide. The story’s main focus is the bondage between the brothers and Erdrich uses symbolism throughout the narrative to emphasize the strength of their relationship.
Right at the beginning of the story, the author uses the color red as a symbol of bonding between the brothers. By deploying the “Red Convertible” as a fascination for the brothers, the author symbolizes the blood relationship between them. The car rather assumes the proportion of a living character rather than a non-living thing in the brothers’ lives when Lyman reminisces about it as being “reposed, calm and gleaming” instead of being parked in the place (McMahan et al. p….). ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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