Complete summary of Louise Erdrich’s The Red Convertible. eNotes plot summaries cover all the significant action of The Red Convertible. “The Red Convertible,” one of Louise Erdrich’s most anthologized short stories, is the second chapter of her debut novel Love Medicine. The novel is a collection. Need help with The Red Convertible in Louise Erdrich’s The Red Convertible? Check out our revolutionary side-by-side summary and analysis.

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The Red Convertible () – Wikipedia

Henry and Lyman are in Winnipeg when they stumble upon the convertiblewhich seems almost larger than life, and they decide to buy it. Views Read Edit View history. Erdrich uses this symbolic act as a vehicle for social commentary.

Leave a Reply Cancel reply Louse your comment here Lyman was able to afford partial ownership in the car because he had always been good with ref. As a result, the red convertible embodies, at various points in the story, everything loiise story is meant to express.

This journey is not a pleasurable one; Henry must go without the company of his brother and the potent force of the red convertible. For example, Lyman takes a moment to digress from his narrative to recall a picture of his brother he is forced to put away due to the painful memories it evokes.

In it, Lyman’s face is erdrih and happy, while Henry’s face is hidden by a shadow in the picture. The first journey, which he takes with his brother Lyman, is a pleasure-filled jaunt around the western part of the United States.

The image of the Ersrich, the symbolic final meal amongst Christ and his disciples, also comes to mind. Together, Lyman and Henry used the car to leave the reservation where they lived and to see what was beyond its borders. He describes running the car into the river after his brother, but he does not tell the reader how doing it made him feel.

There is no sound after he jumps in, and he does not even scream. Jeffrey, David Lyle, ed.

Retrieved December 31, from Encyclopedia. Critics find the character Henry Lamartine, Jr.


Here, Lyman makes it clear that he is Native Edrich, and admits that his relative wealth is unusual. When Lyman intentionally damaged the car so that Henry would have to fix it, Henry understood what Lyman was trying to do for him.

Lyman also has a tendency to shift, or drift, from recalling the main events of the story to engaging in more personalized, involved descriptions of minutiae, or minor detail. Simply put, Lyman is part of something bigger, namely Mother Earth. A month later, Henry saw the car and began working on it. His voice is seemingly trustworthy and reliable, and he is unashamed of his sensitive and emotional nature.

I owned that car along with my brother Henry Junior.

The Red Convertible (1984)

Fixing the car seems to have lifted his spirits because it was familiar and something that allowed him to feel useful and competent for a while. Lyman felt very close to his brother, even when his brother was emotionally unavailable. The fryalator was up in a tree, the grill torn in half like it was paper. The final moments of the story support this connection when the narrator louisw fit to send the car to a watery grave to join his brother.

Lyman was able to buy a red convertible Olds-mobile with his brother because he had always been good with money. He is a shadow of his former carefree self and appears to be in a dream state. Nelson and Nelson compile thirteen chapters exploring Native American identity and the important role literature plays in communicating and preserving it. Devastated, Lyman pushes the red convertible into the river to join him. InErdrich returned to Dartmouth as a writer-in-residence, and a year later she married Dorris.

When Henry erdeich from the war moody, detached, and silent, Lyman intentionally damaged the car to get Henry involved in something.

The Cyclic Nature of Louise Erdrich’s “The Red Convertible” | Interminable Rambling

Lyman and his mother think about what to do for Henry. Modern Language Association http: The color red is symbolically associated with love, passion, health, and vitality; however, red is also connected with the sun and all gods of war, anger, bloodlust, and vengeance. Retrieved December 11, Lyman throws the car into the river because he cannot bear to hang on to this symbol of youth, freedom, and innocence when his brother lost all of those things as well as his life.


They bought it together on a whim, which demonstrates their willingness to share a major responsibility and to do so on impulse. Lyman and Henry traveled without care or worry, enjoying whatever experiences came their way. Lyman tries to turn off the TV, but Henry stops him by shoving him out of the way.

At the end, when Henry drowns and is lost forever, Lyman pushes the car into the river to sink with him, representing that the connection that they once had is now drowned, dead, and lost forever. His third journey is his last; he travels with Lyman to the Red River to commit suicide. You could hardly expect him to change for the better, I know. Since its publication, it has been translated into eighteen languages. Initially, Henry is seen as an easygoing, funny, carefree young man.

The brothers shared good times before returning home.

Really as if it was alive. Eventually their mother comes in and turns off the TV. Still, he fixed it so that he could give the car back to Lyman. Symptoms include abdominal pain, insomnia, memory loss, blurred vision, and aching joints. This sudden privacy makes Lyman seem realistic to the reader.

Lyman and his mother erdrifh how they could find help for Henry. Erdrich purposely gives the reader this distorted view of Henry, and the conclusion to be drawn from this rather bizarre scene, this strange twist to a traditional story, is that Henry has been sacrificed for no good reason.

Henry works hard on restoring the car all day and all night in the cold, alone, for a month [2] as Lyman still hopes that the car returns his brother to what he was before: The car undergoes a sort of death, too.