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what is the central idea of the red convertible

by Carlotta Wilderman Published 2 years ago Updated 1 year ago
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The red convertible, by Louise Erdrich
Louise Erdrich
Erdrich is widely acclaimed as one of the most significant writers of the second wave of the Native American Renaissance. She has written 28 books in all, including fiction, non-fiction, poetry, and children's books.
https://en.wikipedia.org › wiki › Louise_Erdrich
, is a story about two brothers and their experiences together before one of them goes to war and after one of them goes to war. The central idea of the story is traumatic events can change people permanently.

Full Answer

What happens in the red convertible by Louise Erdrich?

" The Red Convertible" is a short story by Louise Erdrich in which brothers Henry and Lyman purchase a red convertible together. When Henry returns from the Vietnam war, he and Lyman struggle to connect. Henry and Lyman spend a summer traveling together in the red convertible before Henry gets deployed to Vietnam.

What does the red convertible symbolize in the red convertible?

The red convertible symbolizes freedom. After receiving insurance money following the destruction of his restaurant in a tornado, Lyman purchases the vehicle. Lyman and Harry bond over the vehicle... In "The Red Convertible,"why does Henry jump into the river? Does he intend to drown, or is it accidental? In what...

How does Lyman set up the theme of the red convertible?

In the opening paragraphs of the narrative, Lyman sets up the sense of freedom and luxury that the red convertible brings to Henry and him by suggesting the impoverishment and disaster that befall the Chippewa on the reservation.

Why does the red convertible bring joy to the brothers?

With the red convertible in their grasp, joy is everywhere because the car provides the key to life off the reservation and away from the constraints and troubles the reservation bears. The red convertible brings the brothers to travel as far away as Alaska, a place they “never wanted to leave.” Lyman describes their time in Alaska as idyllic.

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What is the purpose of The Red Convertible?

The story emphasized difficulties Lyman was forced to Handel the separation from his brother. The goal of Erdrich writing the "The Red Convertible" was to communicate the emotional stresses war creates for a soldier and how that stress affects relationships with there families.

What is the theme of the short story The Red Convertible?

Theme of The Red Convertible In The Red Convertible, LouiseErdrich uses the red convertible to symbolize the theme of change in two brothers relationship. The changes in the car parallel with the changes the brothers go through. As the car evolves, so does the relationship between Lyman and Henry.

What is the lesson in The Red Convertible?

The moral of that scene was that even if we see things one way, there is always a different perspective to see it. Even the relationship that anyone can have with someone else can be seen in different perspectives.

What is important about The Red Convertible in love medicine?

Lyman and Henry's shared convertible is symbolic of their connection as brothers—they buy the car together and then further bond as they restore it together. Henry and Lyman's Oldsmobile also represents the influence of white, European culture on Native identities.

Why does Lyman destroy The Red Convertible?

Lyman throws the car into the river because he cannot bear to hang on to this symbol of youth, freedom, and innocence when his brother lost all of those things as well as his life.

What is the tone of The Red Convertible?

The tone of "The Red Convertible", a short story written by Louise Erdrich, is wistful and sad. The story is about two brothers, one of whom went to serve in the Vietnam War. Before the war the boys had purchased a red convertible and had a fun and exciting time. Then Henry, one of the boys, went to war.

Why does Lyman let the car roll into the river?

In the story “The Red Convertible” by Louise Erdrich we come across the question of why Lyman pushed this beloved car into the river. Lyman appears to have pushed the car because of the memories he recalled every time he looked at it.

How did Henry change in The Red Convertible?

When he returns, he has completely changed, and “the change was no good.” He has become “jumpy and mean,” sitting in front of the TV for hours, never joking and hardly even laughing. He no longer takes an interest in the red convertible—the beloved car he and Lyman bought and traveled in together—or much else.

When did The Red Convertible take place?

1974Plot Summary. “The Red Convertible” is narrated by Lyman Lamartine, a member of the Chippewa tribe who lives on a reservation with his family. He tells a story from his recent past about his older half-brother, Henry. As Lyman tells the story, the year is 1974.

What is the trauma of the Red convertible?

There is no glorification or nationalistic sentiment— Henry goes to fight in Vietnam a carefree, gentle young man, and he comes back a shell-shocked veteran who eventually dies as a direct result of his untreated mental disorder.

What happened to Lyman and Henry in The Red Convertible?

Loss of Innocence. In “The Red Convertible,” brothers Henry and Lyman both lose their childhood innocence as they face the realities of adulthood. Henry is thrust into a war full of unimaginable horrors that change the way he thinks and acts. Meanwhile, Lyman is forced to deal with losing his brother not once but twice—first when Henry returns ...

What is the theme of the red convertible?

LitCharts assigns a color and icon to each theme in The Red Convertible, which you can use to track the themes throughout the work. Loss of Innocence. The Trauma of War. Masculinity and Silence.

Who was the first person to drive a convertible on his reservation?

Analysis. Lyman recalls that he was the first person to drive a convertible on his reservation, a red Oldsmobile. He and his brother Henry owned it together, until Henry’s “boots filled with water on a windy night” and he “bought out” Lyman ’s share. Early on, Lyman establishes that he lives on a reservation, which implies ...

Why does Lyman think Henry wanted him?

Lyman suspects that Henry’s regiment wanted him because he looks so tough, like the Native American warrior Red Tomahawk. He doesn’t write many letters home, and is for a period captured by the enemy. Meanwhile, Lyman writes him lots of letters and keeps the convertible in top shape for him.

What does Henry suggest to Lyman?

One day, Henry suggests that they take the car for a ride. Encouraged by Henry’s sudden interest in taking the car out like old times, Lyman agrees. Henry’s lack of interest in the convertible has to do with his trauma.

What was Henry's loss of innocence?

Henry’s loss of innocence manifests in what is now easily recognizable as PTSD, which was common during the Vietnam War (and is common today, as well). His silence, emphasized by his time spent in front of the television, contrasts sharply with the way he used to laugh and joke.

Was Lyman the first person to own a convertible?

Like most reservations, it is not wealthy – note that Lyman is not just the first person to own a convertible, but the first person to ever drive one. He also leaves ambiguous what exactly happens to Henry.

How long is the Red convertible free trial?

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this The Red Convertible study guide. You'll get access to all of the The Red Convertible content, as well as access to more than 30,000 additional guides and more than 350,000 Homework Help questions answered by our experts.

What is the significance of Henry's blood dripping down his chin?

One of the more grotesque images Erdrich uses to illustrate the extreme damage to Henry’s psyche is the blood dripping down his chin after he has bitten through his lip while watching television. He does not notice that he is bleeding when he sits down at the dinner table and begins to eat. Lyman notes that Henry is swallowing his own blood as it mixes with the bread in his mouth. Vietnam veterans from many different backgrounds suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder after they returned home from the war, but Henry’s case is made worse by the fact that his cultural expectations as a Native American warrior have not been fulfilled. For him, there is no glory or honor, only anger, despair, and hopelessness.

Is the Red convertible a coming of age story?

For him, there is no glory or honor, only anger, despair, and hopelessness. “The Red Convertible” is also a bitter coming-of-age story. At the beginning of the narrative, the brothers enjoy a carefree camaraderie as they take off in their new car and travel from state to state, visiting other reservations.

Why does Lyman smash up the convertible?

They refuse to take him to a hospital for fear that he will never return, or that he will be given drugs instead of proper treatment. Lyman resolves to find another way to help Henry, so he smashes up the convertible in the hopes that Henry will take an interest in something again.

Why did Henry drive out to the Red River?

That evening, they drive out to the Red River because Henry wants to see the high water. At the waterside, Henry reveals that he knew what Lyman was doing when he intentionally destroyed the car, and that he wants Lyman to have the car all to himself.

What was Lyman Lamartine's first car?

Next. The Red Convertible. Lyman Lamartine, a young American Indian man living in North Dakota, remembers his first car, a red convertible Oldsmobile which was unprecedented on his reservation.

Why is the red convertible complex?

The title of the story points to the most fully developed symbol in the story, the car. The car is a complex symbol because its meaning changes as the story progresses.

What is the Red convertible?

“The Red Convertible,” one of Louise Erdrich ’s most anthologized short stories, is the second chapter of her debut novel Love Medicine. The novel is a collection of fourteen stories bound by common characters and themes. When Holt published it in 1984, it became a bestseller that won awards such as the National Book Critics Circle Award and the American Academy of Arts and Letters award for best first fiction. Since its publication, it has been translated into eighteen languages. In 1993, Erdrich expanded the book by four more stories. Love Medicine is the first in Erdrich’s series of novels portraying twentieth-century Chippewa life in North Dakota.

Why did Lyman buy a red convertible?

Lyman was able to buy a red convertible Olds-mobile with his brother because he had always been good with money. He started working as a dishwasher at the Joliet Cafe when he was fifteen, and at the age, of sixteen, he became the cafe’s owner. Soon after, it was destroyed by a tornado.

Why did Lyman and Henry go to the Red River?

Returning to his memories of the day he and Henry took the car for a drive, Lyman recalls that they headed to the Red River because Henry wanted to see the high water. When they arrived, it was evening, so they started a fire. They started talking and drinking, and Henry told Lyman that he knew how the car got damaged.

Is the Red convertible in the first person?

“The Red Convertible” is told entirely in the first person from Lyman’s point of view. He tells the reader about his brother, expressing the love and admiration he felt and his pain at being powerless to help him in the end. His voice is seemingly trustworthy and reliable, and he is unashamed of his sensitive and emotional nature. Not only does he remember exactly how he felt during each episode

Who wrote the Red Convertible?

The Red Convertible Summary. " The Red Convertible" is a short story by Louise Erdrich in which brothers Henry and Lyman purchase a red convertible together. When Henry returns from the Vietnam war, he and Lyman struggle to connect. Henry and Lyman spend a summer traveling together in the red convertible before Henry gets deployed to Vietnam.

Where does the story of the Red Convertible take place?

Download The Red Convertible Study Guide. 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.

What does Lyman think of the red convertible?

Instead, Lyman believes that the red convertible might somehow bring the old Henry back. Taking a hammer to the car, Lyman beats the body and undercarriage out of shape. It takes a month for Henry to notice the damage, but when he does, he berates Lyman for allowing the car to deteriorate.

How long is the Red convertible free trial?

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this The Red Convertible study guide. You'll get access to all of the The Red Convertible content, as well as access to more than 30,000 additional guides and more than 350,000 Homework Help questions answered by our experts.

Why does Lyman spend his days sitting quietly but restlessly in front of the color television set?

He spends his days sitting quietly but restlessly in front of the color television set. Because there are no Native American doctors on the reservation, Lyman and his mother consider sending Henry to a psychiatric hospital but ultimately reject the notion.

What does Eldrich say about the Red convertible?

In "The Red Convertible," explain the following quote: "We owned it together until his boots filled with water on a... As previously mentioned, Eldrich's statement presages the ending of her story, hooking readers and leading them through the narrative. After Lyman's restaurant burns and he receives his insurance...

Where is the story of the Red Convertible set?

The story is set on the Chippewa reservation in North Dakota. The two protagonists, Lyman and his brother Henry, buy a red convertible which they take on a road trip. They end up in Alaska, where... Latest answer posted July 13, 2019 3:13 pm UTC. 1 educator answer.

What is the disconnect between Lyman and the narrator in The Red Convertible?

In "The Red Convertible," the disconnect between Lyman the narrator and Lyman the person who is now "walking everywhere" instead of driving is visible in the first paragraph: I was the first one...

What does Lyman say about Henry watching TV?

Watching Henry watching television, Lyman says, "He sat in his chair gripping the armrests with all his might, as if... The diction and speed in the sentence are used to create a sense of anxiety, urgency, and movement. Lyman's description of Henry's state—moving and yet unmoving—is replicated in the reader as they...

Who is the narrator of the Red Convertible?

Lyman is the story's narrator, and he tells readers a fair amount regarding money early on in the story. In the story's second paragraph, Lyman tells his readers that he has one talent. His one... In the first paragraph of "The Red Convertible," Lyman speaks of himself in the third person.

Why is the final paragraph of the story a great paragraph?

The final paragraph of this story is a great paragraph because it once again shows how symbolically important the red convertible is to Lyman and his relationship with his brother. Lyman and Henry...

Lyman Lamartine

Lyman Lamartine is a Chippewa Indian who lives on the reservation with his family, including his older brother Henry with whom he is close. He is a hard worker who is good with money, briefly… read analysis of Lyman Lamartine

Henry Lamartine

Henry Lamartine, Jr. is Lyman ’s older brother, of a different father. He is carefree and easygoing at the beginning of the story, quick to make a joke and gentle despite his resemblance to Red… read analysis of Henry Lamartine

Lulu Lamartine

Lulu Lamartine is Henry and Lyman ’s mother. She is not mentioned by name in the story, but she features prominently in other chapters of Love Medicine. She previously was courted by Moses Pillager… read analysis of Lulu Lamartine

Susy

Susy is a young girl that Henry and Lyman pick up hitchhiking on their road trip. Her most distinctive feature is her hair, which is usually tied up in “buns around her ears,” but which… read analysis of Susy

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1.What is the central idea in Louise Erdrich's short story …

Url:https://www.enotes.com/homework-help/central-idea-red-convertible-louise-erdrich-528030

27 hours ago One dominant theme in Louise Erdrich 's short story "The Red Convertible" is the clash between Native American and Western warfare values. Erdrich depicts Native Americans as warriors, which is...

2.The Red Convertible Themes | LitCharts

Url:https://www.litcharts.com/lit/the-red-convertible/themes

21 hours ago  · At the center of "The Red Convertible'' is the relationship between Lyman and Henry. Lyman's motivation for telling the story is to embrace and preserve his brother's …

3.The Red Convertible Summary & Analysis | LitCharts

Url:https://www.litcharts.com/lit/the-red-convertible/summary-and-analysis

29 hours ago Lyman Lamartine, a young American Indian man living in North Dakota, remembers his first car, a red convertible Oldsmobile which was unprecedented on his reservation. He used to share it …

4.The Red Convertible Themes - eNotes.com

Url:https://www.enotes.com/topics/red-convertible/themes

21 hours ago At the center of “The Red Convertible” is the relationship between Lyman and Henry. Lyman’s motivation for telling the story is to embrace and preserve his brother’s memory. Because the …

5.The Red Convertible by Louise Erdrich Plot Summary

Url:https://www.litcharts.com/lit/the-red-convertible/summary

5 hours ago  · " The Red Convertible" is a short story by Louise Erdrich in which brothers Henry and Lyman purchase a red convertible together. When Henry returns from the Vietnam war, he …

6.The Red Convertible | Encyclopedia.com

Url:https://www.encyclopedia.com/education/news-wires-white-papers-and-books/red-convertible

10 hours ago  · The Red Convertible What does the red convertible symbolize? The red convertible symbolizes freedom. After receiving insurance money following the destruction of his …

7.The Red Convertible Summary - eNotes.com

Url:https://www.enotes.com/topics/red-convertible

35 hours ago Henry Lamartine. Henry Lamartine, Jr. is Lyman ’s older brother, of a different father. He is carefree and easygoing at the beginning of the story, quick to make a joke and gentle despite …

8.The Red Convertible Questions and Answers - eNotes.com

Url:https://www.enotes.com/homework-help/topic/red-convertible

20 hours ago This is a good question because I think most readers would defend the notion that the story's central conflict is an internal conflict. Lyman and Henry both struggle internally.

9.The Red Convertible Character Analysis | LitCharts

Url:https://www.litcharts.com/lit/the-red-convertible/characters

33 hours ago

10.Does anyone know what the external conflict is in "The …

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7 hours ago

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