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.
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.
Thao’s attempt to steal Walt’s Gran Torino created an unexpected relationship between the two.Throughout this friendship, Walt goes from being a racist, bitter old man to a more revived, friendlier individual. During his week of penance, Walt shows Thao the “American” way of working by telling him that “some WD-40, vise grip, and duct tape” is all a needed to fix any problem there was (Gran Torino). Initially, Walt completely despised his Hmong neighbors; however, after learning from his neighbor Sue that they had fought on the American side during the war, his views changed slowly. Walt took it upon himself to raise Thao into a man, by teaching him the expressions most commonly used in America. It is speculated that Walt treated Thao almost like his son, and not only Thao, but he was like a father figure to Sue also.
Symbolism is a quintessential element in all writing, whether it is prose or a poem. “The Red Convertible,” a short story written by Louise Erdrich, tells the story of the destructive nature of war, via the strain caused on the families from improper deconditioning. The main characters in the story, Lyman and Henry Lamartine, are brothers that develop a seemingly inseparable bond through a car; a red convertible. Lyman, the younger of the two was very hard-working and could always “make money” (Erdrich 394). He manages to ascend up the employment ladder at Joliet Café from “washing dishes” (Erdrich 394) to eventually owning the establishment.
At the same time Henry was called to serve his country. When the car needed repairs, so did the relationship between the brothers. When Henry returned, he was not well and suffered from PTSD. Many famili... ... middle of paper ... ...ible symbolizes the brotherhood of the two brothers. PTSD caused these two brothers to emotionally separate, but they still loved each other and this love is the highest value of their life.
Erdrich writes, “He was built like a brick out house anyway. He had a nose big and sharp as a hatchet” (128). One may conclude that a physical description was given for Henry and not Lyman because he was ... ... middle of paper ... ...e died because of the war. Even though Lyman and Henry’s relationship ends up ending, the red convertible will always be with Henry and will always be a memory for Lyman. While Lyman struggles with losing his brother to the war, the red convertible brought them back together, even though it was really the end.
Although, the red Oldsmobile is the central point of the story, hence the title of the story, the different themes of brotherhood/family, war, and neglect support the Oldsmobile becoming the central point and bringing the story together. One of the themes that support the Oldsmobile being the central point of the story is brotherhood/family “I owned that car along with my brother Henry Junior, We owned it together until his boots filled with water on a windy night and he bought out my share” (Erdrich 358). It shows how close the two brothers were to share a vehicle with each other and be fine with the ownership. The two brothers did not plan on buying the car when they saw it. It was like love at first sight with the boys and a spontaneous decision to purchase the car “That car reposed, calm and gleaming, a FOR SALE
At the beginning when the two brothers saw the car “Really as if it was alive. I thought of the word repose, because the car wasn't simply stopped, parked, or whatever. That car reposed, calm and gleaming” (359). It can be see that this is a mental condition of Henry who is calm and happy is and delighted with this car. Lyman, on the other hand, appears to be in fear for his brother, when he’s at war in the same way he fears for the car.
On this trip they form a deep bond as brothers. The red convertible is a symbol of their relationship, it reflects the state of the brother’s relationship as it goes up and down. Their bond loosens when Henry is drafted into the War and returns a different person. Louise uses her story to help today’s readers understand the effects of war on families in the 1970’s. The character Lyman is the younger brother of Henry.
To be able to understand heroes correctly, distinguishing the real heroes from the forged is a must. In the story “The Red Convertible” by Louise Erdrich one sees the common view of a hero. Lyman, one of the main characters in Erdrich’s story, is a regular guy that lives on a reservation. Through his words, readers see how Lyman misses the friendship of his closest brother, Henry. Lyman writes that he and his brother spent countless hours with the Red Convertible and after he came back from the mi... ... middle of paper ... ...ows what a true hero can be from one’s true heart.