Sunday, September 5, 2010

Revolutionary Road by Richard Yates

Revolutionary Road by Richard Yates promises to answer the question, "is there anything more out there?" It engulfs you by promising to answer what would happen if you 'ran away' from the mediocrity and into a new life.

You get to watch married couple April and Frank make a spontaneous decision to up and move to France in order to escape the mundane day-to-day. Suspense builds when you find yourself giddy for the answer to finding happiness. Finally, at last, someone is going to write a book that gives us all the answers to escaping boredom. If it works for the characters in the book, then possibly it will work for all of us who wake up every day to go to a job that we hate. Thank you Richard Yates!

And then you discover that, in fact, Yates does not really have the answer; at least not the one you’re looking for. Because the ending of this book is shocking and horrid. She had the perfect house, a perfect husband and two perfect blonde children. You read this and you wonder what the hell else she could want.

Revolutionary Road shows us life is not about achieving happiness, it is about making it through life. The stresses and the obstacles are what make up life. The dramas and the upsets and downfalls and uplifts are what keep us going on and on and keep us from getting bored. If we didn't have these tribulations, there wouldn’t be a point in living because there would be nothing to strive for and nothing to overcome. If there were no "bad," we couldn't recognize the "good" as being good. Life itself is the adventure and to achieve happiness is to relish in the fact that you have simply lived through it.

1 comment:

  1. Tabitha, the way you describe a book and its content make me, a shallow, non-reader of this type of stuff, captivated and gripped with anticipaiton. I would not have had the slightest bit of interest in ANY of these books until reading your synopsis and being captivated by your interpretation. Thank you for your inspiration....B..