In the short story called “The Red Convertible” by Louise Erdrich, focuses on those who are left behind and going off to war. Stephan is Marty’s older brother, one summer before Stephan goes off to the Army they buy a red convertible together and travel all over the United States meeting new people and exploring new places. As they get back home the car breaks down and Stephan leaves for two years, during that time Marty fixes the car and is in perfect condition. A Stephan that was once nice, funny and couldn’t keep quiet came back a different person; when Stephan came back everything about him changed he was quiet, never comfortable sitting in a single place, was constantly moving around and mean. One night Marty was so angered by his brother’s personality that he went and smashed the red convertible up until it was all damages, a few months after Stephan fixed it up. After Stephan finished fixing it he asked Marty to go see the high water at the Red River. This is where Marty finally said to Stephan, “Wake up, wake up, wake up (Page.6)! Stephan broke down and told his brother he knew, but it was useless because he could not help it. After this conversation Stephan tells his brother he wants to give him the car but Marty refuses the offer, both being buzzed they start fighting; then stop and laugh it off. Stephan gets hot goes into the river and gets swept away by the current, never to be seen again.
I think Erdrich does a fantastic job showing how people do change after traumatic events. She lets readers captivate the emotions Marty has towards his older brother, and how he yearns for him to be the same. I find the death of Stephan to be interesting; it was something I was not expecting. Erdrich. Louise. “The Red Convertible.” “The Red Convertible.” New York: HarperCollins, 2009. Boo