Love Medicine

Love Medicine

by

Louise Erdrich

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Henry Lamartine, Jr. Character Analysis

Lulu and Beverly’s son and brother to Lyman and Gerry. Henry, Jr. is named for Lulu’s second husband, Henry, and he was born just nine months after Henry’s death. Like all of Lulu’s sons, Henry, Jr. is not Henry’s son, but is the son of Henry’s brother, Beverly. Henry, Jr. and Lyman by a red Oldsmobile convertible together, and they drive all the way to Alaska before Henry, Jr. is sent to Vietnam, where he is captured as a prisoner of war. After the war, Henry, Jr. comes home a scarred and broken man. He is angry and withdrawn, but he spends a few precious days bonding with Lyman over their Oldsmobile before walking into the Red River and drowning himself. The character of Henry, Jr. represents the trauma of war and the toll such a struggle can take on returning soldiers.

Henry Lamartine, Jr. Quotes in Love Medicine

The Love Medicine quotes below are all either spoken by Henry Lamartine, Jr. or refer to Henry Lamartine, Jr.. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Tribal Connection and Family Ties Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Harper Perennial edition of Love Medicine published in 2016.
The Red Convertible Quotes

One night Henry was off somewhere. I took myself a hammer. I went out to that car and 1 did a number on its underside. Whacked it up. Bent the tail pipe double. Ripped the muffler loose. By the time 1 was done with the car it looked worse than any typical Indian car that has been driven all its life on reservation roads, which they always say are like government promises—full of holes. It just about hurt me. I’ll tell you that! I threw dirt in the carburetor and I ripped all the electric tape off the seats. I made it look just as beat-up as I could. Then I sat back and waited for Henry to find it.

Related Characters: Lyman Lamartine (speaker), Henry Lamartine, Jr.
Related Symbols: Cars
Page Number: 184
Explanation and Analysis:
Get the entire Love Medicine LitChart as a printable PDF.
Love Medicine PDF

Henry Lamartine, Jr. Character Timeline in Love Medicine

The timeline below shows where the character Henry Lamartine, Jr. appears in Love Medicine. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Lulu’s Boys
Tribal Connection and Family Ties Theme Icon
Female Oppression and Strength  Theme Icon
...Lamartines are each red-headed or blond, and they look nothing like their brothers. The youngest, Henry, Jr. , was born just nine months after Henry’s death, but Beverly is certain the boy... (full context)
Tribal Connection and Family Ties Theme Icon
Native Culture, Assimilation, and Racism Theme Icon
Love Theme Icon
...best salesman in the entire area. The secret to Beverly’s success is a picture of Henry, Jr. , which he shows to his customers. He creates elaborate stories about his son, Junior,... (full context)
Tribal Connection and Family Ties Theme Icon
Native Culture, Assimilation, and Racism Theme Icon
Henry, Jr. comes in and asks Beverly to make his bird tattoo fly. Beverly rolls up his... (full context)
Native Culture, Assimilation, and Racism Theme Icon
Female Oppression and Strength  Theme Icon
By that evening, Beverly has completely abandoned his plans to take Henry, Jr. back to Minneapolis. Beverly watches Lulu as she readies dinner for her boys. She is... (full context)
A Bridge
Tribal Connection and Family Ties Theme Icon
Native Culture, Assimilation, and Racism Theme Icon
Female Oppression and Strength  Theme Icon
The man, Henry Lamartine, Jr. , knows that the girl is following him. She isn’t exactly pretty, and she looks... (full context)
The Red Convertible
Tribal Connection and Family Ties Theme Icon
...to own a convertible on the reservation. He had bought it together with his brother, Henry, Jr. Lyman has always been good at earning money, and when he was just 15, he... (full context)
The Good Tears Part 2
Native Culture, Assimilation, and Racism Theme Icon
Female Oppression and Strength  Theme Icon
...Nector died, partly because nothing could be more painful than the day Lyman told her Henry, Jr. had been killed. Moses told her once that drowning was the worst death for a... (full context)