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 ...
... middle of paper ...
...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.
Yates, Richard. Revolutionary Road. New York: Vintage Contemporaries, Vintage, 2008. Print.
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