The Red Convertible Symbolism

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Symbols in “The Red Convertible” The Red Convertible is a short story from a collection Love Medicine that was written by Louise Erdrich in 1984. It tells about brothers Henry and Lyman – two young Native Americans who lived in a Chippewa reservation. They bought a red convertible on lays and spent some halcyon days in the car. Men decided to drive to Alaska to ride a girl home. And it was their last good adventure together as Henry was taken to the army after the trip. He gave brother all rights to the car, but Lyman did not want to accept these changes. Henry’s personality was badly affected by the war, and his brother tried to revive his interest to the car by damaging it. The man repaired it but did not want to treat the vehicle as his property again. In the final scene brothers were able to gain understanding, but their reunion did not last long as Henry drowned in the river. Lyman “returned” him the convertible by sending it in the water too. The story demonstrates many symbols. The color of the convertible is one of them. According to some sources, red symbolizes faith and communication in the Native American culture. The car’s condition represents the state of brothers’ relations. It is new and shiny at the beginning as characters’ bonding was strong and stable. After returning Henry neglected the car; this indifference to the thing he once cared so much represented man’s attitude to other important aspects of his life. Lyman’s act of vandalism against the own car
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