The Red Convertible By Louis Erdrich Essay

1431 Words Oct 22nd, 2014 6 Pages
Throughout history, Native Americans have been oppressed and victimized. European men invaded their country, bringing with them their culture and their dreams. As a result the Europeans forced their cultures and dreams onto the Native Americans, making their old dreams into the American dream. This same kind of oppression is seen in Louis Erdrich’s, “The Red Convertible” where two brothers face the reality of Native American status. Erdrich uses the car to represent the boy’s freedom and independence and also the linking between the car’s condition and Henry’s mentality. Using Lyman as the narrator of the story provided insight on the point of view of Native Americans throughout the road trip to Alaska, but when the brothers return home from Alaska henry gets sent off to a war he knows nothing about. The Native American’s dream is not the same as the American dream, but they don’t have a chance at the American dream, so in the end Erdrich sacrifices Henry and the car to demonstrate that Native Americans are omitted from the American Dream. Cars, when you take them apart they’re just steel, bolts, and screws, however when you put them together it forms one of the ultimate symbols of freedom and independence. The narrator, Lyman, worked hard and saved up money to buy a red Olds convertible with his brother. The brothers were, “the first one to drive a convertible on my [Lyman’s] reservation” (1). This demonstrates that the two brothers were also the first to have a small…

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