Symbolism in the Red Convertible

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Symbolism of the Color Red in the Red Convertible

The Red Convertible by Louise Erdrich is more than an emotional story about the lives of two brothers who grew up together on an Indian reservation. She uses a writing style that allows the reader to understand the text, while providing the opportunity to read into the story. Erdrich uses metaphors, symbols, imagery to describe and define the brothers Henry and Lyman’s relationship. The two brothers purchased the red convertible together. The purchase defined their relationship and sense of adventure. The red coloration of the vehicle represents blood- the ultimate link of brotherhood. The red convertible went from taking these two brothers on the adventure of a lifetime to returning them to face war. The two take off one summer on a road trip that ends them in Alaska. When they returned home, Henry was drafted into the army. Before leaving for Vietnam, Henry uses the car to express his love for his brother by throwing the keys at him and saying the car is his. Three years later, Henry finally returned home only to be a much different person than the one that had left. The color red is a consistent symbol throughout the story, as it is a word in the title. The color red has numerous symbolic meanings. It can be interpreted differently depending on the situation and experiences of an individual. Red can create a variety of emotions ranging from love to violence and war. Many cultures associate red with purity, joy and celebration. In China red is the color of happiness, prosperity and good luck. In the Native American culture, the color of red represents faith and communication. The title of the story is the main source of communication between the brothers In America, there are two associations made by the color red. The first is positive which includes passion, strength, love and energy. These concepts are seen throughout the story, and are connected with Lyman, the younger brother. He was...
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