Position Paper #2: Use of Metaphor
Metaphor is the language of poetry, feeling, and a part of ordinary life. Without metaphor one could never verbally express profound feelings. Consequently, it is one of our overwhelmingly imperative strings of dialect. We might state that it is similar to the prime part of our DNA. Metaphor makes our lives a little less demanding to hold up under when we can depict our affections and thoughts to others. Obviously without it we would be lost. Symbolism is a quintessential element in all writing, whether it is prose or a poem. “The Red Convertible,” a short story written by Louise Erdrich, tells the story of the destructive nature of war, via the strain caused on the families from improper deconditioning. The main characters in the story, Lyman and Henry Lamartine, are brothers that develop a seemingly inseparable bond through a car; a red convertible. The story takes place in North Dakota on an Indian Reservation where Henry lives with his brother Lyman. Henry and Lyman buy a red convertible that later in the story illustrates Henry’s lack of ability to stay sane. The brothers take a summer trip across the United States in the car and upon their return; Henry is called to join the army, which turns out to be the transitional point in Henry and Lyman’s personal life. The Vietnam War changed Henry’s appearance, psyche, and his feelings about the red convertible. Henry loses his hold on reality. It is always said that war changes people. In “The Red Convertible”, Erdrich uses Henry to show how it affects people. In this case, the effects are psychological. We can clearly see a difference between his personalities from before he goes to war compared to his personalities after he returns home from the war. Before the war, he is a carefree soul who enjoys the happiness life brings. After the war, he is very quiet and defensive, always watching his back as if waiting for someone to strike. Throughout...
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