Is Lyman Lamartine from "The Red Convertible" a static or dynamic character?

Lyman Lamartine from "The Red Convertible" is best classified as a static character. This is because he is relatively stable throughout the story and does not develop much as a character.

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Lyman Lamartine is very much a static character in that he doesn't really change throughout the story. In narrative terms, this shouldn't come as a surprise, as Lyman is there to provide some stability in the story in contrast to the changing personality of his brother, Henry.

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Lyman Lamartine is very much a static character in that he doesn't really change throughout the story. In narrative terms, this shouldn't come as a surprise, as Lyman is there to provide some stability in the story in contrast to the changing personality of his brother, Henry.

It's not just the story that needs Lyman to be static; Henry needs this, too. Lyman cannot really be there for his brother and can't really help him deal with his emotional and psychological problems if he isn't relatively stable and unchanging. He has to be the still point in Henry's turning world, as there's virtually nothing else in Henry's life that can possibly fit the bill.

As it transpires, Henry is beyond hope, and there's absolutely nothing that Lyman or anyone else can do to save him. There is, therefore, a tragic sense of inevitability about his untimely death. The sad truth is that Henry is just too far gone due to his traumatic experiences from serving in Vietnam.

But of course, Lyman doesn't know this; he's got to try whatever he can to help and support his brother and perhaps bring him back to the true happy self of his childhood. And this means, among other things, that he must be strong, steadfast, and unchanging.

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Lyman is the narrator and protagonist, and typically the protagonist changes (the definition of dynamic) in response to the conflict of the story. In this story, however, Lyman remains a steady and relatively unchanging character, so he would best be classified as static.

The central conflict of the story emerges as Lyman tries to support his brother Henry after Henry's service as a Marine in the Vietnam War. Lyman proves to be fairly naïve about how the war might change his brother and simply looks forward to Henry's return, believing that they will pick up where they left off.

After three years of fighting in the war, Henry is forever changed when he returns home. He is withdrawn and jumpy, and Lyman is as steadfast as ever in trying to support his brother. This isn't a change, but the way he shows that he cares for Henry transforms because Henry has changed so much. Lyman begins watching out for Henry and tries to distract his mind by destroying their car so that Henry can work on fixing it back up.

In the end, Lyman isn't able to rescue Henry from his severe depression, and after sharing one final happy evening together, he watches his beloved brother take his own life. Lyman is a constant source of love and support for Henry, which points to an important message in this story. Sometimes people who are severely depressed cannot be rescued with the help of their loved ones alone—not even by those who love them the most and provide an unwavering sense of support.

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First, we have to define what "static" and "dynamic" characters are.

A static character does not significantly change throughout the course of a story. Most commonly, these are supporting characters. A dynamic character changes, develops, or matures throughout a story. "Main" characters are usually dynamic.

With this being said, "The Red Convertible" leaves much of this open to interpretation. Even though Lyman is the narrator and protagonist, he does not show significant personal change or development throughout the bulk of story. He remains "stuck" in the ways of his life (and his love of the red convertible) while his brother, Henry, actually changes.

In the story, the red convertible symbolizes youth and naivety. Since he does not experience the Vietnam War like his brother does, Lyman embraces that naivety throughout the story, only letting it go at the very end. Henry, however, is incredibly dynamic, developing and changing drastically due to his time in Vietnam.

Overall, one could make the argument that Lyman is static or dynamic, depending on how you choose to interpret the end of the story when Lyman lets go of the convertible. He could be seen as dynamic since he does "let go" at the end, but he could also be viewed as static since we never really see how he personally changes after Henry's death.

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A static character is one who remains fundamentally unchanged throughout the course of a story, as opposed to a dynamic character, one who does change in some significant way throughout a text. I would say that Lyman Lamartine, despite being the narrator and the story's protagonist, is actually static, even though main characters are more typically dynamic. It is actually his brother, Henry Junior, that changes in a really dynamic way as a result of the events that take place in his life. Lyman, on the other hand, is much the same at the end of the story's events as he was at the beginning: good at making money, caring deeply for his brother (who, evidently, suffered quite a bit in the Vietnam War, so that he came back changed forever).

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A static character is one that does not change throught a story. A dynamic character is one that does grow and change, and learn, throughout that story. Usually main characters like Lyman Lamartine are going to by dynamic, except in some rare cases.
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