Saturday, November 14, 2009

Revolutionary Road

Revolutionary Road
Richard Yates

Revolutionary Road is set during the 1950's and takes us through a journey of a married couple and their life in suburbia. Frank and April Wheeler live in a white cottage on Revolutionary Road in Revolutionary Estates. They like the status of living in this house, in this particular neighborhood, but things are far from perfect in their lives. They're desperate to have meaning in their life.

The book is told from Frank's point of view, and only once do we have the book told from April's point of view and learn her thoughts and feelings. Their marriage is based on nothing, on the fact that April loves Frank when he's "nice" and Frank loves his wife but doesn't understand her at all. He goes to work everyday and does absolutely nothing while his wife stays home and watches their two children.

Throughout the story, Frank has outlandish thoughts about what his wife will say when he tells her certain things and is absolutely flabbergasted when she doesn't react in the way that he thinks she will. April is really indifferent to anything Frank does and could care less about anything he says, but Frank never realizes this at all.

They decide to move to Paris because April is desperate to get out of the surburban housewife role and find some meaning in her life. She wants to be the one to work and let Frank go off and "find himself" by walking the streets of Paris. They agree they're going to sell the house and pick up and move everything and the kids to Europe. They think they're different and better than their neighbors in the Revolutionary Estates.

The most telling part of the whole book is when April finds herself pregnant and the plans to move to Paris derail upon this discovery. April wants an abortion and Frank does everything he possibly can to persuade her not to. The second-to-last chapter of the book is April talking and you finally know her anguish and hopelessness she feels over this pregnancy and her being unable to break out of this suburban housewife life.

I didn't like this book. It was about two people who lived the same life and knew nothing about the other. Frank had affairs with women at the office and April dreamed of being anything other than who she was, although she had no idea whatsoever who she was or had turned out to be. It was a sad story about two selfish and self-involved people who were desperate for a life different than their own and neither knew how to go about getting it.

1 comment:

  1. I HATED this book. I wanted to slap Frank and April. Whine, whine, whine. Try putting down the booze and paying attention to your kids.