Loneliness 3

             Loneliness is inherent in the lives of Charlotte, from "Pomegranate Seed," and Lyman, from "The Red Convertible." The writers of the stories have their personal experiences built into their work. In addition, the characters from both stories suffered through similar ordeals; they helplessly watched a loved one dissolve like a fading dream. .

             Kassanoff explains, Wharton recognized her younger self in Sara, a woman in "All Souls'" who, is paralyzed by loneliness (383). This loneliness in the younger life of Wharton was inevitably ingrained in her stories. The story "Pomegranate Seed" is a perfect example of how Wharton's loneliness seeped into her writing. .

             Erdrich's "The Red Convertible" is contained in the book Love Medicine. Marie, a character in another story, is losing Nector, her husband. Her grandson Lipsha attempts to cure her loneliness by preparing a love potion. He botches the recipe and kills Nector. This shows that loneliness is not a foreign idea to Erdrich's writing either.

             Both "Pomegranate Seed" and "The Red Convertible" begin with lonely characters. Charlotte begins the story remembering her friends sometimes stopped by, but "Sometimes--oftener--she was alone"(Wharton 317). Charlotte rarely had anybody around other then her husband, and he was becoming more distant. Erdrich begins the story at the end, and Lyman is looking back on the past. Erdrich writes, "Now Henry owns the whole car, and his younger brother Lyman (that's myself), Lyman walks everywhere he goes" (143). When Henry died, Lyman's spirit and happiness went with him. Lyman walking every place symbolizes that there is nothing for him. Lyman only has memories of companionship. .

             Although both characters were lonely at the beginning of the stories, the source of the loneliness lies deeper in the story. Charlotte felt the pain of being alone after her husband Kenneth started receiving mysterious letters from his dead wife.

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