The Car Symbolizes More Than a Friendship

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In the story, 'The Red Convertible' by Louise Erdrich, the car holds more than just monetary value for the two brothers. The symbolism it portrays is one of unity, happiness, and fond memories during a time when Henry and Lyman were carefree and oblivious to many problems outside of their own world of existence…

Introduction

He does this as a gesture of remembrance, to hopefully keep his brother from focusing on the negative aspects of him being away, and instead remember the fond times the two of them had shared in the car.
When Henry finally leaves, the car seems to be the only comforting semblance for Lyman, of the times they had spent together. The images of a healthy, happy Henry are embodied in the spirit of the red convertible, and these special memories are what keep Lyman from digressing into sorrow. Some of the relaxing and content thoughts Lyman conjures up are ones where they had no specification of destination, during the summer when there were traveling in the car. "We took off driving all one summer," and the story goes on to show how happy and at peace they both were, finding spots in areas where they felt "so comfortable", Henry is depicted as feeling at ease enough to fall, "asleep with his arms thrown wide" (Erdrich 2002). Lyman continues to grasp onto these visual memories he brings up, in anticipation of those same feelings for when his brother will finally return. The car itself is what symbolizes the bond between the two of them, even with a great distance of separation dividing them.
Finally, Henry returns home in the story but it's obvious he has changed; things are just not the same. ...
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