In Louise Erdrich’s “The Red Convertible”, the short story tells of a bond of two brothers, Henry and Lyman, who are both free going, open, friendly with a spirited nature prior to Henry going off to war, and how Henry became despondent, mean, and sullen after returning home, and what it ultimately did to the relationship between the brothers. Erdrich uses comparison and contrast to establish her message of the loss of identity and shift in attitude after a soldier returns home. Erdrich...
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...for life. This attitude for life is sadly depicted when Henry eventually kills himself, recognizing that he can never be the old Henry that he once was before going to war, seeing no use in even trying to find himself any much longer. Erdrich shows the complexity and heart aching sadness for many soldiers once they return home from war.
Soldiers who return from war experience a magnitude of trauma and tragedy where they suffer from PTSD and depression, losing their identity and having a completely new attitude for life that makes resuming life for them a harrowing experience. “The Red Convertible” eloquently offers a commentary on a soldier’s profile before and after war. Henry completely changed, seeing death as the only means to alieve the psychological pain he was suffering from. Unfortunately, this sentiment can be shared by masses of soldiers who fight in war.
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