Now I don't even know I can get it to start again, let alone get it anywhere near its old condition." Henry alludes to what condition the car was in before he left for Vietnam and expresses his concern about bringing the car back to its old condition. Erdrich uses symbolism here to e... ... middle of paper ... ...ough the color and becomes entranced, causing him to neglect his family and even become violent with Lyman. Erdrich portrays the instability that soldiers experience after war and also, the abuse their relationships experience. In summary, Erdrich makes a statement in her short story, "The Red Convertible": the Vietnam War had a horrendous effect on the soldiers who participated, but also on the people who knew them before.
Henry wanted Lyman to have the car before Henry killed himself. Lyman Lamartine shows his struggle in trying to rescue Henry from post-traumatic stress disorder after the Vietnam War. Henry has been to war and knows all, but he is now a prisoner of his mind. Most people go through this after war it is called post-traumatic stress disorder. In the story Lyman tries to rescues his brother while also trying to build their relationship to what it used to be.
Just months later in early 1970 Henry was fighting in the Vietnam War and Lyman was had the red convertible in his possession. More than three years later, Henry finally returned home three years later only to be a much different person than the one that had left. Henry was distant and lackadaisical for the most part, never really caring about anything. Lyman knew there had been only one thing in the past that really cheered him up, and would do whatever it would take to have Henry back to his old self. Lyman took a hammer to their prized possession one night and soon showed Henry the car.
We took off driving one whole summer”(Erdrich, 365). Upon returning from their travels, Henry’s draft number was called and he joined the marines and was sent to fight in Vietnam: “I don’t wonder that the army was so glad to get my brother that they turned him into a Marine” (Erdrich, 366). Like Henry, I returned from war with my innocence lost and emotions buried so deeply that I found it difficult to reconnect with the loved ones in my life. Henry returned from the war a changed man. Somewhere in Vietnam, his innocence had been lost and his emotions buried deep under all of the death and destruction that surrounded him for nearly three years.
It changed the lives of many people, and in many unfortunate cases eliminated those of others. "By the end of 1965, 184,314 troops were in Vietnam" (Internet), sacrificing their future, their lives. "Within a year, the number had grown to 385,000"(Internet). For those back in America, the hardship was felt as their sons died overseas. imagine waking up one morning and turning the local news of and seeing your son's face on the TV screen as one of the few hundred who died just last night.
The individuals are concoction of many people hence they grow through the assistance of other members of the society. There is a lack of community in the story of the red convertible when Henry returned home after nine months of service in Vietnam. He was imprisoned for another six months after which he was released and returned home. He comes back home an angry totally changed man. The love and unity that he showed to his broth... ... middle of paper ... ...ugh in the absence of his company.
Paul explains the bloodiest battle against the French, which resulted in hundreds of casualties. At this point, it becomes clear that Germany is losing the war, and is running out of adult men able to fight. After this horrific battle, Paul was able to go home for a couple of days. Seeing his family again made him happy however, he had to maintain an emotional distance to prepare himself for returning to the trenches. When back on the front, he is faced with an experience he had never had before, killing a man.
Nearly 60,000 American lives were taken during that war (The Vietnam War, 2014). In a picture that was photographed during the Vietnam war, there are bodies lying motionless on piles of bamboo, you can see tears falling from the eyes of American soldiers taking cover, watching their friends take their last breaths (1968) One man has his hands in the air, as if he was praying for it to be over. In the picture, you can feel the devastation that was felt by the soldiers. (1968) The soldiers that survived the Vietnam War were left with scars that time would not heal. In “The Red Convertible,” and “The Pugilist at Rest,” both Louise Erdwich and Thom Jones illustrate the psychological effects that the characters experienced from fighting in the Vietnam War, through symbolism, language, and their actions.