Revolutionary Road Analysis

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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…show more content…
Because Frank is stuck in this meaningless job he needs to constantly be reminded of how much of a man and how great he is. As soon as he walks through the door, April is there to greet him saying, “I missed you all day” (Yates, 141). April conforms into her feminine and housewife gender role to cater to the man as soon as he gets home. Frank’s masculinity is constantly being affirmed as even he creates thoughts in his head of perfect scenarios that could occur to make himself feel as if he has a perfect family. Frank creates stories in his head to make himself look important in his family such as when he imagined “himself rushing home to swing his children laughing in the air…chatter through dinner with his wife…sitting spellbound in pride and then rising to join a thunderous ovation” (Yates, 16). Frank creates these scenarios in his head and also recreates incidents to justify his actions. When Frank is outside laying the stone path he thought he saw “Michael’s white sneaker slip into its path” (Yates, 54) and then smacked him proceeding to say, “the kid put his foot right the hell in my way” (Yates, 55). Frank knew that Michael’s foot was not actually in the way and clearly stated it in the beginning but after hitting him, changed his story to justify his actions and show his masculinity in the family.
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