"The Red Convertible" Review

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Blood Brothers
“The Red Convertible” by Louise Erdrich is a story about two very close brothers and their cherished car. Throughout the story everything about the car is a representation of their relationship. From their carefree happiness when they first bought the car, when Lyman messed it up so that Henry would fix it and possibly himself, down to the picture of them with the fixed-up car that haunts Lyman of his brother. Even the color of the car symbolizes their relationship as blood brothers, the closest connection. When they first saw the car they were astonished and taken by it. By chance they both bring money along; they hadn’t talked about buying anything, it was almost fate. Without even thinking twice the car was theirs. Henry and Lyman took the car on a road trip for a whole summer, driving with no destination just going. This point in the story was the peak of their happiness. Lyman remembers one particular place where they comfortably laid under willow trees, he remembers Henry “sleeping with his arms thrown wide” carefree and relaxed. The brothers picked up a hitch-hiking girl and went all the way up to her home in Alaska, where Henry was the center of a lot of laughter. On their way back to North Dakota they raced the weather, never even had to put the top up. While Henry was away at war Lyman kept the car in perfect shape for his return, even continued to write Henry keeping him updated with their beloved car because it was all Lyman had back at home of Henry. “I always thought of it as his when he was gone”, even though before Henry left he told Lyman that he could have it. Three years later when Henry returns from war it becomes evident to Lyman that his brother will never be the same. Henry was changed for the worst. He was quiet and anxious, “you couldn’t even get him to laugh”. The only time he was still was when he was watching TV, even then it was an uncomfortable stillness. The day Henry bit through his lip he knew he had to do...
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