Revolutionary road by Richard Yales was published in 1962 and the book was the writer’s first and deliberates on the failure of marriage but most importantly on the tendency of human beings to come up with myths so as to try and bring order on chaos that are a common characteristic of human existence. The point of interest in the book is the two main characters Frank and April. When the story begins, we feel for the two characters but not until later when the characters start treating themselves as important and special. They are found out to be very selfish and not willing to acknowledge the truth. The two characters have their own dreams and aspirations which are curtailed by forces that are within and out of their control.
We learn that the two got married after April became pregnant and Frank was not willing to let procure an abortion. Later, Frank got a job but which he did not approve so much. They resettle in a suburb. As a result of their self importance, they despise their neighbors and even their family friends, the Campells. They assume themselves the most civilized in the neighbored hood April and Frank’s childhood life is discussed where we see them in the centre of life at its best characterized by flashy dinner parties. We see the characters in relationships, how they fail to work on their assignments and enjoying themselves with drinks. The characters seem to live a life that is torn between desire and accomplishment and that of reality and the truth.
The two then develop a myth to enable them sustain their self deception. They make themselves believe that they are the only people caring for the culture. The myth does not live for long. It is nullified in the course of the story when all the neighbors turn out for the play. The performers, who had the support of the Wheelers and the Campells totally failed to deliver as expected. This marked the beginning of the crumbling of the marriage. After the play the two engage on a physical fight. April discovers that their marriage was slowly moving towards a breakup, she decides that the only option they had to salvage their marriage was to shift to Europe and seek a new beginning. She convinces her husband that they should move to Paris and get a rest from the suburban life.
The wife and husband are seen as being very conscious of themselves. They time and again examine themselves and use what they see and read in the movies and magazines as the parameters as a measure of how sophisticated than their friends they are. They are over conscious of what see and think of them. Whether they are beautiful and handsome to be recognized by the others, are their friends the best and so on. They seem not to know exactly what they want making them look like they are characters in role play acting the role of wife and husband, of father and mother and of man and woman. They very concerned of their room and their children. They try to make the room look better and much improved than their friends’. After noticing that things are not working their way, they take very radical measures some of which are very severe and turn drastic. Many months afterwards, they are hit by the rude realization that they are no better or special than their friends and neighbors.
April’s husband is only interested in proving himself and constantly consoles himself that the reason for his failure is nothing other than his need to see that his family leads a worthy life. This though is an attempt to see to it that his family lives like the families of his friends or even better. Even though, he is not the only person struggling with this fact as we see of some the characters in the novel such as Shep Campell, Franks friend. When young, He is seen as being very rough but he pretends to beso cultured when he grows up. Another character, Mrs Givings who does not have a very descend job but convinces herself otherwise and pretends to living a wonderful life with her husband who paradoxically never listens to her
This was meant to give them an opportunity to achieve their dreams of becoming the people they had always admired to be. Frank even though, is not amused by the idea of living in France. April is determined to work incase they move to Europe and support her husband who is not contented in his job as an office worker. When he agrees to her idea, their staying together is reassured for a while. April’s hope of ever getting out of America gets a final blow she gets pregnant of their third born and on the other hand her husband started getting praises from his supervisor and therefore making him develop a positive attitude towards his job. Due to the frustration she gets, April decides to terminate the pregnancy by abortion. However, she looses a lot of blood and dies in the hospital where she is taken for treatment. Her death causes her husband an irreparable damage.
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