Literary Analysis Of The Red Convertible

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To what lengths would you go for a loved one? Would you destroy something in hopes that it would save them? That 's what Lyman Lamartine did in hopes to fix his PTSD afflicted brother. "The Red Convertible" was written by Louise Erdrich in 1974 and published in 2009 along with several other short stories. Lyman, and Henry, are brothers. The story starts by telling us about how the two brothers acquired a red convertible. Henry ends up being drafted into the Vietnam War, and comes back home suffering from PTSD. One day the pair decided to take a drive to the Red River because Henry wanted to see the high water. Ultimately, the story ends with a cliff-hanger, and we are left wondering what happens to the boys. The symbolic nature of the red convertible will play a key role in this literary analysis, along with underling themes of PTSD and war.
One of the main symbols in the story is the red convertible itself. It symbolizes the relationship between the two brothers, and how it brings them closer throughout the story. The color of the convertible is also very symbolic. Since the two boys are Native American, the red convertible is supposed to represent their skin color. Both boys trade ownership of the vehicle throughout the story, but ultimately the car ends up in Lyman 's possession. As was stated before, the car
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We learn that when Henry comes home from the war, he is suffering from PTSD. "It was at least three years before Henry came home. By then I guess the whole war was solved in the governments mind, but for him it would keep on going" (444). PTSD changes a person, and it doesn 't always stem from war. Henry came back a completely different person. He was quiet, and he was mean. He could never sit still, unless he was posted in front of the color TV. But even then, he was uneasy, "But it was the kind of stillness that you see in a rabbit when it freezes and before it will bolt"
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