The Red Convertible And The Things They Carried

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-1Christopher Richardson Nadine Pearce March 7, 2009 “The Red Convertible” and “The Things They Carried” Brotherhood is a very important part of life, it embodies loyalty and friendship. In “The Red Convertible” Erdrich uses a red convertible to show the bond between two brothers on an Indian reservation. In addition, brotherhood is important to soldiers. They have to be able to trust each other. However, in “The Things They Carried” O’Brien chooses not to use brotherhood as the theme but instead uses the conflict between war and love. O’Brien uses Lieutenant Cross’s feeling of responsibility and his daydreaming to show the conflict between love and war. Both authors use plot structure to develop the themes in their stories, Erdrich develops brotherhood in “The Red Convertible” and O’Brien develops war and love in “The Things They Carried”. In “The Red Convertible”, the author uses Lyman’s memories to establish a bond between Lyman and his brother Henry. Erdrich also uses the red convertible that the two brothers bought as a metaphor for Henry. During the story, the brothers go on a cross-country road trip in their car, not stopping to for maintenance, and as a result, the car becomes old and beaten. Upon returning to their home on the Indian reservation where they grew up, Henry receives a draft notice from the marines calling him to fight the Vietnam war “We got home just in time, it turned out, for the army to remember Henry had signed up to join it”(196). While Henry is away in Vietnam, Lyman decides to repair the car. Unfortunately, when Henry returns from the marines he is a changed man, he no longer seems to enjoy anything “When he came home, though, Henry was very different, and I‘ll say this: the change was
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