Sample Term Paper

Words 728


This term paper is a character analysis of the two brothers in the book Love Medicine by Louise Erdrich. This term paper explores the development of the characters and the relation of the brothers, particularly the change before and after Henry’s trip to Vietnam.


  • Introduction
  • Henry and Lyman before the Vietnam War
  • The Change
  • Death of Henry
  • Conclusion

Character Study

Louise Erdrich’s story, “The Red Convertible,” is a chapter from Love Medicine. In it two Native American brothers, Henry and Lyman Lamartine, buy a red Oldsmobile convertible. This paper analyzes the relationship and characters of the two brothers and the important role played by the “Red Convertible in their lives and their relationships, and how this car is used by the writer to reflect the development of both the brothers’ characters.

The Red Convertible is the story of Henry Jr. before and after the war and his brother Lyman. When the brothers first see the car sporting it. For Sale sign, it doesn’t just sit, but seems rather to “repose“; (Erdrich 162). The brothers use it for exploration, including a trip to Alaska, after which symbolizes liberty and their brotherly attachment: now it is no longer just possession, but a mutual ownership. The character of Lyman is not only comes across as a narrator but as an observer as he tells the story about  how Henry changed, and in doing so also reveals a lot about himself. The chapter is organized around its closing paragraph, in which a red convertible is consumed by the Red River. This final depiction symbolically reaffirms what has happened to Henry Lamartine, both separately and in his relationship with his brother, Lyman.

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