Dr. Zhivago

In: Other Topics

Submitted By blaine
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Pages 6
"The Red Convertible" is a short story about the relationship between two Native American Indian brothers. It analyzes how their bond changes with the passage of time and is affected by both internal and external factors in the late 1960's and early 1970's.

The story is told from the point of view of Lyman Lamartine, a young man who is a Chippewa Indian living on a reservation in North Dakota in 1974. Lyman remembers that he was the first person to ever drive a convertible on the reservation. The convertible was red, and Lyman owned it jointly with his brother, Henry. At present, Henry still owns the car, and Lyman must walk everywhere he goes.

Lyman relates that he had always been good at making money and was able to buy his share of the car when he and Henry came upon it. Lyman had worked as a shoeshine boy in the American Legion Hall when he was very young and sold spiritual bouquets door-to-door at Christmastime to make money. When he was fifteen, Lyman got a job washing dishes in the Joliet Cafy, which he came to own just a year later. A tornado destroyed the cafy, and Lyman had just enough money remaining to buy his share of the red convertible.

Both Henry and Lyman have all their money with them when they take a ride with a friend to Winnipeg and spot the convertible. Neither brother ever mentioned buying a car, but both knew immediately upon seeing it that they wanted to buy it.

During that summer, Henry and Lyman drive all around the Dakotas and end up in Montana with no plan or need for an itinerary. Along the way, the brothers pick up a hitchhiker named Susy and take her home to Alaska. They spend the balance of the summer there, before returning home to North Dakota.

Upon their return, Henry is called into the military and returns home for a Christmas visit before going overseas. The year is 1970, and Henry's letters home report only that…...

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