Submitted By Antioch
Revolutionary Road by Richard yates
I decided to go with Conformity vs Nonconformity along with Individual and relational searches for identity. I felt throughout the book most of the character either conformed to the norms of their family, Jobs, and friends, or they were searching for their identity. After reading the book and watching the movie and going back to the beginning a few time. I tried to understand what might be the possible implications of the quote of the final dying sounds of their dress rehearsal that left the Laurel Players with nothing to do but stand there, Silent and helpless, blinking out over the footlights of an empty auditorium. The director could have been implying while giving the Players confidence that if they would worked hard and not be so fearful of their performance they could pull this off.
With the director saying “We’ve had a lot of problems here, and quite frankly I’d less resigned myself not to expect too much. Well, listen. Maybe this sounds corny, but something happened up here tonight. Sitting out there I suddenly knew, deep down, that you were all putting your hearts into your work for the first time. I think he knew that the Laurel Players had been struggle their performance and with some kind of encouragement that just maybe they would not let their fear get in the way.
In the beginning, the narrative speaks of the Laurel Players being afraid of making fools of them-selves and they had compounded that fear with being afraid to admit it to each other. Being that April wheeler attended one of the top drama schools, in New York City, she may have put more pressure on herself then the rest of the Laurel Players. The rest of the cast was able to laugh it off, for April she just wanted to be left alone and her husband frank just wanted to comfort her. I feel this was just another unspoken disappointment in April’s life that soon was going to get out of control and the drama of their dysfunctional relationship begins.
During their fight after the play in the car I was getting angry with April’s passive aggressive personality. Then there was Frank’s anger issues that I was spoken by through April that Frank had struck her during a previous fight. Throughout the book I had to stop taking sides and continue to read. I finally realized that they both had real inter-childhood trauma that has never been resolved. Like April, being raised by her aunt with little affection and no love as April mentions. This hit home to me being that my daughter was pretty much raised by my Parents with no emotional love either. Her parent coming to visit with her at the spar of the moment because they were out gallivanting and living about the country, but had always lavish April with expensive gifts.
Reading the book was much better than the movie but the movie I was able to see Aprils starting to look distant, and detached and unsociable. This is when I felt empathy for April not know how to identify with what she wanted. Knowing that children was not in the plan at least for now had maybe confined her to something she was not comfortable. Then there’s Frank, I could also see the hurt in his eyes not being able to understand why April cannot love. Knowing her pass childhood experience but feeling that she should get pass it? Frank, going to a job daily that meant nothing to him while taking the railroad that he despised
When April had a moment of sudden insight or discovery to go to Paris it was real nice for a while to see the excitement, joy and smiles that both of them showed. It was like when they first met, and only lasted for a while. Was this what frank really wanted or was he just going along to make. I started to see Frank struggle and doubting what he wanted losing his identity just to save his marries. I was thinking does April really love frank or is she just being manipulative because at times I felt she was selfish and controlling. I feel frank new that April’s plan for Paris was a bit out there but went along simply because it really sounded like a way out of the suburbs and maybe, just maybe he would find himself like April said.
April realizes she is pregnant around the same time frank had been offered a new position. This is when April plan to abort the baby was told to frank and it was obvious frank was not going for it. Having one of their fights Aprils states “Do you think you’re going to stop me. What I got out of this quote was April being April realizing another baby she will be just like Milly with a house full of kids that she really didn’t want. As a women who feels strongly about aborting a child especially when you have two other and a husband. Here is when I felt that April and Frank should not have had children from the start. Even April expresses that to frank from time to time when she was first pregnant. I felt sorry for the children I’m sure they felt the tension during the fight especially their daughter.
To me Frank admitting to the affair with Maureen “And frank saying I think the main thing was simply a case of feeling that my – well, that my masculinity had been threatened somehow by all that abortion business; wanting to prove something; I don’t know. Anyway, I broke it off last week; the whole stupid business. It’s over now, really over. If I weren’t sure of that I guess I could never brought myself to tell you about it” when April said “why did you tell me. Here I felt the same why did you tell her Frank that was a real stupid thing to do. I feel that they both had no filter in what they said to each other in the heat of the moment in terms of hurting each other. Especially when she told him that she didn’t love him as she often does. And Frank usually tell her Yes you do you love me. I think Frank really knew April didn’t love him but used that she had issues to manipulate her thinking or at least try.
Talking about filter the best part of the book to me was John giving’s and his father. The reason I say Johns Father because in the end when Ms. Giving is just talking away praising the new couple that are now living in the Whelers home. I just loved when Ms. Giving’s Husband just turned off his hearing aid. I laughed and said ah this is how he deals with her. John Giving’s just said it like it was and I appreciated that. It was about time someone was honest in the book. Not one of the Characters had the guts to be honest and real they had either conformed or lost their identity. When Frank and April first met John given’s I think they also appreciated his bluntness and abrupt and indirect way of speaking. And it was someone who they made out to be crazy. John Giving’s to me was the sanest one in the book well until he went overboard at their second visit. When the announced was made that the Wheelers were not going to Paris after all because April was pregnant. When John Giving’s states “What you can’t have babies in Paris? Then on his way out John states something that continues to stick in my mind. John states to April “Do you know who I feel sorry for? That Baby. The insightfulness of these word would of made me confirm what I was about to do. In conclusion after April is so nice to Frank with a good breakfast and smiling as he leaves and with a good buy kiss to me even confused Frank. I knew April was going to do something dreadful. What came to mind was this next Quote” If you want to do something absolutely honest, something true, it always turned out to be a thing that had to be done alone.” Because April did try to get Frank to agree with this abortion but he couldn’t. Maybe April felt she had no way out and she would be trapped in the suburbs and the only way was getting rid of her baby event if it took her life in the process. I enjoyed the book but throughout the scenes it was hard for me to truly like some of the characters because they were superficial. As for Frank and April I just felt there relationship was damage from the start. They were two opposites. April was shallow and did not learn to love and John to me was still a boy who I feel would have found himself eventually but just wanted to love his wife and family.