Explain the nature of the brothers’ relationship in “The Red Convertible,” giving examples and evidence.

In “The Red Convertible,” brothers Lyman and Henry Lamartine Jr. have an easygoing, affectionate relationship. Their closeness is stressed after Henry returns with post-traumatic stress disorder. The bond is restored, if only for a short while, through their different roles in restoring the red convertible.

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The Red Convertible ” is the story of two brothers, Lyman and Henry Lamartine Jr., set in the era of the US war with Vietnam. Early in the story, the brothers are close, but their affection is casual and easygoing. They enjoy spending time together but do not think...

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The Red Convertible” is the story of two brothers, Lyman and Henry Lamartine Jr., set in the era of the US war with Vietnam. Early in the story, the brothers are close, but their affection is casual and easygoing. They enjoy spending time together but do not think much about their love for each other. Things change drastically when Henry returns from his military service. Not only did he see combat, but he was even a prisoner of war for several months. Lyman can observe but not fully understand the changes that post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is causing his brother. Henry’s work in restoring his car, which Lyman had damaged to make the work necessary, also restores the bond they formerly had. Sadly, they have little time to enjoy this closeness because of Henry’s drowning.

Louise Erdrich shows the reader the easy rapport the brothers enjoy through their experiences traveling around in the flashy car. They seem to take their brotherly bond for granted and do not find a need to discuss it. When Henry is called up, Lyman lovingly cares for his brother’s car; while he misses Henry, he also realizes that he cannot put himself in his brother’s place. Although he tries to connect with Henry when he returns, the PTSD damage puts a huge space between them.

Lyman’s clever plan to force Henry to work on the car demonstrates his love. While he succeeds in getting Henry interested in something, the project is not a cure for his illness. Henry’s love is demonstrated by his effort to give his brother the car just before he dies in the river.

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