Red Convertible

Topics: Posttraumatic stress disorder, Vietnam War, Laughter Pages: 3 (1077 words) Published: December 13, 2005
"The Red Convertible"

The story "The Red Convertible" written by Louise Erdrich, is about the lives of two Chippewa brothers who live on an Indian reservation and their red convertible olds. Lyman and Henry spent a summer of care free fun together before the tragedies of the Vietnam War took over Henry's mind. Henry was a fun loving free spirit before the war, then became a prisoner of the horrors he had seen, until he freed himself by taking his own life. Henry would never be the same after the war, neither would Lyman. Henry acted as if he did not have a care in the world, but to have fun and live life to the fullest. The world was full of adventure and laughter waiting to be had. Lyman had said "Henry had two checks – a week's extra pay for being laid off, and his regular check from the Jewel Bearing Plant" (162). The brothers did not care that they spent the last of their money; they had to have that car, and "They took off driving the whole summer" (162). Living on a reservation where the people did not have much of anything, they were the first to own a convertible, and they were young and searching for adventure. They were free to roam wherever the car took them. The boys did not care where they ended up, as long as they were going together. From one reservation to another, they traveled from state to state. They lived on the land of their people, and escaped the troubles of home. Along their journey they picked up a girl named Susy who they were more that happy to help out with a ride. Before they left she wanted to show off her long hair that she had always had in two buns. Her hair reached the ground and Henry asked her to get on his shoulders. When she did he danced around and replied "I always wondered what it was like to have long pretty hair" (163). They all laughed hysterically. Henry had quite a sense of humor and enjoyed making others laugh. He had a good heart and enjoyed making the best of life, that is, before he was sent off...
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