The story begins on an American Indian reservation in North Dakota. Lyman has received a large insurance check after a tornado destroyed his restaurant. He and Henry, a laid-off factory worker, buy a red convertible.
Through the use of theme, characterization, and symbolism Erdrich delivered a remarkable and memorable story. The theme of sacrifice is touched on throughout the entirety of the short story. Erdrich does a fine job of giving the reader clues as to the sacrifice that will take form later on.
Towards the beginning of the short story, Erdrich goes on to describe how Henry was laying down with his arms spread wide open — a signal of his sacrifice that was soon to come.
It is a known in many cultures that any type of spreading of arms or cross-like pose has been a great key for the theme sacrifice. Another fine example would be when Henry bit through his lip and started bleeding from it.
Blood is almost an instinctive sensory object for communicating a sacrifice that will take shape in the near future, and Erdrich is sure to put such objects to use. The blood has been shed, the inevitability of a sacrifice deems true.
Another key element Erdrich touches on is characterization.
While interpreting the short story one begins to notice how Lyman comes off as a lucky individual, while Henry is always struggling and is never quite in the light. Lyman was always able to create wealth for himself no matter what the conditions were.
Henry, on the other hand, was never one to achieve reputable status in the field of moneymaking. The drawing of numbers for the army was yet another showcase as to how Lyman was always getting lucky.
Henry was not so lucky, however, and he ended up fighting for the army due to his unfavorable number. The final aspect Erdrich utilizes is symbolism. Concordantly, the picture also represented the poor, dark, and lonely lifestyle that Henry later adopted.
Lyman describes the picture: Lyman is explaining how this picture symbolically revels the light that is on himself and the darkness that blankets over Henry. This picture corresponds perfectly to the lives of Lyman and Henry because it was taken after the war, after Henry had changed.
The largest symbol that is used frequently throughout the story is indeed the red convertible.
The red convertible is symbolic of the two brothers; it shows their freedom, their relationship, and their connection. As the short story starts out the two are held together strongly by the red convertible.
They are always doing something together in the vehicle - whether it be driving, talking, or just observing. The car binds the two together.
There is no doubt that Henry has changed for the worse, and as a result, Lyman destroys many parts of the red convertible. For it is the red convertible that stands as a mere metaphor for the actuality of the lives that have now moved apart from one another. They have changed, and the red convertible has accommodated.
The words of Erdrich share the sacrificial elements of a brother named Henry. Whether it be the army or himself that caused the drama in his life, one may never be sure. But the clues are evident - at one point in time Henry was a loving, caring, and respectable human being.
Despite his errors and misfortune, what was done served a purpose. What was done served as his light illuminating back to all who ever knew him, it was his sacrifice.In Native American culture, the red is the color of faith, and represents communication.
The short story The Red Convertible by Louise Erdrich is more than an emotional story about the lives of two Chippewa brothers who grew .
“The Red Convertible” is a seemingly simple story, but the changing symbolism of the car gives it richness and depth.
In describing metaphors, scholars often use the terms vehicle and tenor. The vehicle is the image used to communicate meaning . A stunning collection of short stories by Louise Erdrich, author of the National Book Award-winning The Round House. Selected by the author herself from over three decades of work, The Red Convertible is a veritable masterclass in the art of short fiction.
Short Story Analysis: The Red Convertible “The Red Convertible” by Louise Erdrich is a short story about two Native American brothers, Lyman and Henry, and their growing bond as brothers.
Symbolism is used rather heavily in this story. One of the main symbols of the story, as . “The Red Convertible,” by Louise Erdrich, is a distinct representation of light and darkness relating to conclusive sacrificial events. This short story takes one through what begins as a normal everyday life of two unique individuals, and as the story progresses the reader is taken through the affairs and actions that later lead to Henry’s destiny.
Created Date: 8/26/ PM.