This semester, I finally taught Louise Erdrich’s “The Red Convertible.” As we talked about the story in class, I pointed the class towards the. Need help with The Red Convertible in Louise Erdrich’s The Red Convertible? Check out our revolutionary side-by-side summary and analysis. “The Red Convertible,” one of Louise Erdrich’s most anthologized short stories, is the second chapter of her debut novel Love Medicine. The novel is a collection.

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Although the narrator Lyman clearly identifies himself in the first paragraph of the work, his account maintains an oral quality. This sudden privacy makes Lyman seem realistic to the reader. Lyman also suggests that Henry would object to going to a hospital, which may be because of the silencing and stigma around illness, mental illness in particular.

This article needs additional citations for verification. Lyman, however, could still enjoy being carefree, so, by giving Lyman his key, Henry was encouraging him to embrace his last innocent years. For Lyman, images of a healthy, happy Henry are embodied in the spirit of the red convertible.

He used to have it on his wall, but he can no longer stand to look at it.

It is no coincidence that Henry and Lyman come across the car in Winnepeg, on a trip off the reservation. Demonstrations, sit-ins, and anti-war songs became common in s America. Each heightens the contrast and amplifies the design as a whole.

Not only does he remember exactly how he felt during each episode. Brende and Parson combine research and anecdotal information to provide an authoritative account of post-traumatic stress disorder in Vietnam veterans.

The Red Convertible |

I owned that car along with my brother Henry Junior. During the summer road trip, it represented freedom. Her family is welcoming, and the brothers stay with them until the weather turns cold.


Fixing the car seems to have lifted his spirits because it was familiar and something that allowed him to feel useful and competent for a while. In addition, the entire account is related as a series of memories.

A month later, Henry saw the car and began working on it. These influences, in tandem, paint a different picture for the reader.

Unemployment on reservations remains high, at 46 percent, and the poverty rate is 30 percent, the highest in the country. He maintained the car so that when Henry returned, they could enjoy it just as they had before Henry left.

That summer, they took the car on a trip without an itinerary or any plans. He said that he fixed it erdroch that he could give it back to Lyman.

The Red Convertible (1984)

Recalling the blood image appearing earlier in the text, Erdrihc. When he came home, he was unable to function as he had in the past. LitCharts assigns a color and icon to each theme in The Red Convertiblewhich you can use to track the themes throughout the work.

There is a stark difference between the carefree Henry in this scene and the traumatized Henry that appears later. After he came home from the war, he was a different man. She is a Native American girl of small stature. The first journey, which he takes with his brother Lyman, is a pleasure-filled jaunt around the western part of the United States.

Erdrich uses symbolism in other ways in the story. Download this Chart PDF.

When she tells Lyman and Henry that she wants to go home to Alaska, they take her. It is only upon seeing the photograph in a particular light tthe Lyman realizes how much Henry was suffering, and how obvious erdrrich was in the physical features of his face. Before leaving for Vietnam, Henry used the car to reach out to Lyman.


Lyman felt very close to his brother, even when his brother was emotionally unavailable. The story focuses on the relationship dynamics between Lyman Lamartine and his brother Henry, a soldier who was convedtible in the Vietnam War.

There were no Chippewa doctors on the reservation, and they feared that a hospital would either reject Henry or attempt to solve his problems by giving him too many drugs. Twenty years later, that number had decreased to about four thousand.

Byclose to seven thousand Chippewas lived there. Articles needing additional references from September All articles needing additional references Articles created via the Article Wizard. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. He was a secure man with a sense of humor and an easygoing disposition. Erdrich is also compared to Faulkner because of her regional focus, imagery, and fragmented narrative style.

This trade led many Chippewas to the prairies, where they gradually adopted a lifestyle different from that of their woodland forebears. However, instead of talking to Henry about tbe happened to him or what he needs, Lyman takes action in silence by destroying the car.

It was a fact: The car becomes a source of comfort and a connection for Lyman to his brother. They also acknowledge it is unlikely that Henry would agree to go to converrible hospital. The brothers shared good times before returning home. Views Read Edit View history. The Chippewa on the Turtle Mountain Reservation in North Dakota were among the few Native American populations who asked that the government create a reservation for them.