In “The Red Convertible,” Louise Erdrich through her first- person narrator Lyman, creates an unspoken emotional bond between two brothers. This emotional bond between the brothers is not directly spoken to each other, but rather is communicated through and symbolized by “The Red Convertible.” In spite of what appears as a selfless act by one brother, in turn, causes pain in the other brother, as no feelings were communicated. In this case, Lyman explains his version as he takes us through the experiences that he and his brother Henry have with the car.
At the beginning of the story, you find that Lyman and Henry are like somewhat typical brothers living on the reservation. Although between the two brothers, Lyman seemed to have more of the luck gene than Henry. At the time they purchased the red convertible together, it was like a marriage between the brothers. Without a doubt, upon seeing the car, it appeared as a sign to them, as Lyman said, “before we had thought it over at all, the car belonged to us, and our pockets were empty” (Erdrich 325). Obviously, this was not a traditional “wedding,” but more of a Vegas-style one; however, it gave the brothers that special bond of feeling united.
Following the wedding, it was time for their honeymoon period. The brothers for the same reason took the car and just drove for one full summer. In fact, they used the car just to drive for a casual and carefree summer. As a result, at one point they just rested as honeymooners would, with Lyman’s remembrance of the place as “the air was not too still...I feel good. Henry was asleep with his arms thrown wide” (325). Afterward, they continue on their honeymoon by picking up a girl and ending in Alaska. I...
... middle of paper ...
...ng in the north comes lots of mud and high water.
Henry takes advantage of this high water to leave the car to Lyman. Lyman nevertheless communicates back by sending the car with Henry. Thus, this was the final act of communication through the car, ironically into the Red River.
In short, by using the car to communicate the brothers create a special bond. As a result, by looking at it from the symbolism as the heart, the reader can see how each brother tries to give their heart to the other. On the contrary, without the direct communication between them, it causes pain and confusion in the other. Even though both brothers attempt until Lyman forever gets the last word by sending the car, his heart, into the Red River with Henry. As I have shown, with the car symbolizing their hearts, because of this final act, without reservation blood is thicker than water.
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