What is the significance of Susy in "The Red Convertible?"

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Susy symbolizes something from the natural world, as she is like a character from a fairytale. She wears her hair in buns, and she is tiny. She takes Henry and Lyman up to Alaska, which almost seems supernatural, as the sun does not truly set there during the summer. Lyman says that one feels "like an animal in nature" in Alaska. Susy's world brings out what is natural in Lyman and Henry. In addition, the way in which Susy lets down her hair, which reaches to the ground, and the way in which Henry twirls her about on his shoulders make her seem like a creature from a fairy world. Susy is a symbol of what is natural and good in Henry's life before he is shipped off to Vietnam in the Marines. When Henry returns home, he spends his life inert, and it is clear that he is distanced from what is natural and life-generating.

In "The Red Convertible ," Susy and the brothers' adventure with her represents a last carefree episode for Henry before he goes off to war. After the war, he is forever...

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