Revolutionary Road paints an honest picture of a traditional couple faced with the hollowness of a suburban life in the 1950s. Frank and Alice Wheeler are two very ambitious people, and when they felt a bit constricted with their very lives, both decided to try to change their fates by moving somewhere else–to Paris. But slowly, this plan does not work out so well, and along with their marriage, everything starts to fall apart.
Reading the reviews and praises for this book actually made me a little skeptical about reading this book. I actually have watched the movie before I read the book for a change, and that also made me a little bit less inclined to read, just because I did not want my “vision” to be ruined. (If you can call it a vision) But obviously I gave it up and just read it. I’m happy I did.
The characters are basically the story of this novel. And if you have read reviews, seen the trailer for the movie, or heard from other people what this novel is about, it probably sounds like these characters are your typical married couple living in a typical suburban home. But that’s the main thing about this book; they are everything but usual. These characters are the people who think they are better than the boring, dull people in their neighborhood. They make fun of them, think low of them, knowing that they have better opportunities and a more exciting future ahead of them. But maybe they are just like them; dull, boring, and typical. These characters try to hard to be different, that as they fight against who they are and who they will become, they also fight each other.
I really enjoyed reading this book, thinking deeper about the theme of it, and thinking about it more long after I finish the last page. The book AND the movie both hit me in a way, simply because it was realistic. This is how married couples in peril act, talk, and look. This is how they cope.
Revolutionary Road is a novel not to be ignored, but to be taken seriously because of its realistic theme and topic. Keep an open-mind as you read this. Richard Yates is a terrific writer by the way, each line obviously thought of and cared for.
The only tragedy (if again, you call it a tragedy) is that you stop to think your importance in the world. All of us try so hard to be unique, but at the end of the day, despite our different characteristics and personalities, we are all pretty much the same.
Read the book, watch the movie, you won’t regret it, but that’s just me.