In class we discussed the red convertible as a symbol and what it could stand for. I agree with what most people said—that the car stands as a symbol of the brothers’ relationship together. The car was new and a gateway to other things, just as their relationship took on a new face when opened up to so much freedom. As said in class, the car became a way to uphold the lost relationship during their separation and then became beat up and broken, finally being fixed for a moment, but not long enough to last, as it was pushed into the river along with Henry Jr. I think the symbol is definitely one of their relationship and also, in class we spoke of the freedom that the car represented—in the sense of being able to drive the car wherever they wanted and wherever they wanted.
I also think the red convertible could also be drawn into parallel with two different historical ideals—firstly, of course, that of the Vietnam war. Not only did it take away the freedom of Henry, but it changed the culture, mainly popular culture, of America. It wasn’t only Henry that this happened to, but many people across the entire nation. But more closely related to Henry, the red convertible could also be a symbol of the assimilation of the brothers into the American society. If one could draw a parallel to the historical native Americans that embraced some of the technologies that the European settlers brought to them, the effect of the native Americans loosing their culture, land, and freedom to the Untied States government is very similar to what happens to the boys’ freedom. In this sense, it would be appropriate that Lyman began by explaining how he was so good at making money inside the American system. It shows where the invasion materialism into their society started, with the car as a symbol of the advancement that could be made, but that also brings, in the end, the downfall of the tribe, of the boys.