Thursday, November 10, 2011
This story about the red convertible is very sad. It is not uplifting like E.B. White's story is at the conclusion. There is no sense of peace or hope at the end. The red convertible in this story is what ties Lyman and Henry together. It represents their relationship before Henry went off to war when things were innocent, free, and happy and also it represents their relationship when there is no hope left and things do not make sense. It is obvious through this story that Henry went through some very traumatic experiences when he was in war. He is the perfect example of someone who has trouble coming back home and being normal. I think sometimes our society expects veterans to just be able to come home and flip the switch but it is far from being that easy and Henry is a good example of that. I think it is also important to note that they are Native Americans living on a reservation. Because they are a minority, it makes them harder to seek treatment for Henry (although it would've been hard for any veteran coming home after the Vietnam war to find any mental help). The reader can really tell that Henry is mentally sick towards the end when he is acting as if everything is ok and then drastically drowns himself. Lyman definitely did not see that coming. It is interesting that right before he does this to himself, Lyman describes him as looking peaceful and almost normal like he used to. How ironic that there was some sort of peace before the storm. By getting rid of the convertible in the end, Lyman is offering himself closure. Because the car represents everything about their relationship, he cannot keep the car around just to stare at and mourn his brother's loss even though it seems like that's what his brother really wanted him to do. It seems appropriate that everything that represents their relationship should die in the same way that Henry did.