Change In Erdrich's The Red Convertible

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The growth of a person can take place through changes that occur within or around their lives. For example, in “The Red Convertible,” Erdrich’s character Lyman is a prime example of growing through change. The change from carefree to serious is triggered through his experience of assisting his brother, Henry’s, psychological transformation after returning from the Vietnam War as a Prisoner of War. Lyman exemplified growth through his attempt to learn how to react to/help his brother. Prior to Henry, his elder brother, leaving for and returning from the Vietnam War, Lyman was carefree. Lyman began the story as a character that did not have a care in the world. He never had to worry about money; Lyman had a “talent” where he “could always make money.” (309) Lyman and Henry made the brash decision to purchase a red Olds convertible with all of their money and “just enough money for gas back home.” The brothers made the impromptu decision without planning ahead. (309) They randomly…show more content…
During his final road trip with Henry, Lyman felt that his brother was returning back to normal. Lyman noticed that Henry’s face looked “clear, more peaceful” and he took it as his brother was doing better. He was able to relax a little bit and feel carefree once again. Once Henry broke down Lyman’s serious side began to take over. He refused to admit to Henry what he did or take ownership of the convertible, once again, which caused the brothers to argue. Lyman’s shift occurred due to his heightened sense of responsibility for his brother. While Lyman witnessed his brother drowning, not being able to save him, and driving the car into the river alongside him, his growth throughout the story became visible. Lyman driving the car into the river signifies how he let go of the brother he lost. He came to terms with the idea that his brother was not coming back. His growth was

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