Friday, January 13, 2012

"The Red Convertible" Essay

"The Red Convertible" Essay

Reading the story “The Red Convertible” by Louise Erdirch I was looking for the message that the author was trying to give. What idea was the author trying to bring to the reader and what literary theory he indeed used in order to make this message vivid? How was Louise Erdirch trying to convey the reader and how was he exploring the main idea of brotherhood.

“The Red Convertible” by Louise Erdrich is the story about the young energetic man, who is full of energy and spirit of freedom, who lives a happy life and who has a great break in his life after he comes back from Vietnam. Indeed it is obvious that people who are involve in war zones suffer from a tragic experience and they are mentally scarred for life from the trauma in the war. Same happened to Henry.


Henry is a lively and cheerful man who loves his life. He enjoys taking his “red Olds” (Erdrich 283) convertible for a ride to many different places. He and his brother Lyman were eager to travel and had many small trips. Indeed, brothers had very close and trusty relationships. Soon after, the army assigned Henry to go to the Vietnam War. The war that he had to attend to was “at least three years” (Erdrich 286) before Henry could go home. That war was like no other war in American history. In that war, the “enemies was not easily identifiable or necessarily in uniform; women and children could kill others on the streets. The object was to kill as many people as possible and survive.” PTSD Summary”).

As soon as Henry returns home he acts and behaves “very different” and the “change is no good” (Erdrich 256). The once talkative and cheery Henry turns into a silent, irritated, and isolated person. He is quiet, “so quiet and never comfortable sitting still anywhere but always up and moving around” (Erdrich 286). Henry is no longer comfortable communicating; now he doesn’t talk. As his brother, Lyman said that Henry “always had a joke and now no one could get him to laugh, or when he did it was more the sound of a man choking” (Erdrich 286). He became very irritated and he hated company, preferring loneness. His family starts to notice Henry’s unusual actions. All of his symptoms were the results from the war. That was indeed the Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder that Henry, an American Indian veteran marine, got after having to the war.

As a result, Henry couldn’t adapt to his experience in the war. It seems like he never came home. In an article it says that “veterans report the feeling that they never really made it back from the war. Formerly suicidal people feel they never really made it back to normal life” (“Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder”). He was stuck in the war and kept continuing to think about the past and dwells on it. He could no longer take all the stress and emotions that was going through his head. Therefore, he talked his own life and as he committed suicide he said “his boots are filling” (Erdrich 290) and than he’s gone.

Analyzing the story I came to the idea that the tension in the story is developed through the structure and word choice. The story begins with a close relationship between the brothers, yet differences are pointed out. They are carefree living day to day with no worries. Henry then leaves for the Vietnam War and comes back a different person. Struggles over the television, a picture of Henry, and the car are very noticeable, although the resolutions of these struggles are not as forward. A physical conflict at the river and the word choices through out the story bring it closure. The conflict between the brothers and the inner conflict each brother has is resolved at the end of the story.
Warning!!! All free online essays, sample essays and essay examples on The Red Convertible topics are plagiarized and cannot be completely used in your school, college or university education.

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