Revolutionary Road Analysis Essay

Revolutionary Road Analysis Essay

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Suburban life in the 1950s was ideal, but not ideal for the women. Women were continuously looked at as the typical suburban housewife. In Richard Yates’ novel, Revolutionary Road, we are given the chance to see the dynamics of the Wheeler family and of those around them. Through the use of theme, tone and major symbolism in the novel, we are shown the perspective of gender roles in the 1950s. The author shows the reader the struggles of strict gender roles and how the protagonist of the story will do just about anything to escape from it.
The novel begins with the protagonist, April Wheeler, portraying Gabrielle in an amateur-theatre production of the play, The Petrified Forest. The play ends up being a total disaster and leaves April devastated, leaving her disconnected from Frank, her husband, and her neighbors, Milly and Shep Campbell afterwards. The play, The Petrified Forest, is a disastrous love story of a man who decides to have himself die to keep the women he loves out of a life of misery. In the end of The Petrified Forest, Gabrielle is able to escape from her horrible lifestyle and fulfill her dreams; April was never able to do that.
This play, which is the first part of the novel, symbolizes what is yet to occur—a disastrous love story between April and Frank Wheeler. After the play, April and Frank get into an argument in the car, leading April to walk off and telling Frank he’s, “got [her] safely in a trap” (Yates, 37). April is felt as if she is in a trap because of the role of housewife she is automatically placed in. She wants to be more than a woman who stays home, washes the dishes and takes care of the children, she wants to explore and be free, something that the 1950s gender roles are limiting her to not ...


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...cieties views on gender roles but nothing ends up changing. In reality, the only real difference, which occurred, was the death of April and her baby. If April had died, her attempts at change would not have been successful, though she was persistent in trying as in constantly giving Frank boosts of ego and even attempting to abort the baby so the plan to move to Paris would not fall through. April was alone in her attempt at change and nobody else was supporting her views, and through her death others saw her as somewhat crazy, comparable to John Givings. Her attempts at changing the gender roles in an unchangeable society in the 1950s failed to work and created a revolution in society, which simply just brought things right back where they started.














Works Cited
Yates, Richard. Revolutionary Road. New York: Vintage Contemporaries, Vintage, 2008. Print.

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