The Red Convertible Discussion Questions

Instructor: Kerry Gray

Kerry has been a teacher and an administrator for more than twenty years. She has a Master of Education degree.

'The Red Convertible' by Louise Erdrich is the story of a Native American man who suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder after serving in the Vietnam War. This asset provides discussion questions for classrooms about the short story.

''The Red Convertible''

Louise Erdrich's ''The Red Convertible'' is a short story about two brothers who are connected by their experiences in a red convertible. After one struggles with mental illness upon returning from war, the other attempts to rekindle their former relationship through the car. The questions in this asset support classroom discussions about this story.

Before the War

The questions in this section describe the characters and their relationships before the Vietnam War.

  • Why is the red convertible so special to Lyman? What does the car symbolize?
  • What can you infer about the characters based on the setting of the story?
  • Why does money come easily to Lyman? What is the relationship between luck, attitude, and work ethic?
  • Who is Susy? Why is Henry and Lyman's time with Susy significant? Why do you think the author chose to include her in this story?

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