Revolutionary Road: A Conformist Drama of Manners


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Essay #: 059654
Total text length is 6,784 characters (approximately 4.7 pages).

Excerpts from the Paper

The beginning:
Revolutionary Road: A Conformist Drama of Manners
Like a cruel joke played on Frank Wheeler, there is nothing “revolutionary” about Revolutionary Hills Estates or the road he lives on. In spite of their delusions about being arty, urban bohemians hiding out in the suburbs, Frank, his wife, April, and their circle of friends are caught up in a tragedy of manners: hollow suburbanites, playing the roles of bohemians, acting like hollow suburbanites. The characters in Richard Yates’ Revolutionary Road are everything they claim to despise and nothing the claim to be; they are conformist actors on the empty stage of suburbia.
The novel opens at the dress rehearsal of a community theater troupe, the Laurel Players. A brainchild of drama student,...
The end: she played in The Petrified Forest, that she has to escape, a decision that leads to her eventual destruction.
In a their melodramatic, over-the-top television drama performances, the characters in Revolutionary Road are merely shoddy actors in a mediocre play, unfortunately the play is there own conformist lives. Only Shep Campbell seems to realize this at the end, when he stumbles upon a small insight into method acting:
“The whole point of crying was to quit before you cornied it up. The whole point of grief itself was to cut it out while it was still honest, while it meant something. Because the whole thing was so easily corrupted…” (Yates, 1961, p. 349)
Yates, R. (1961). Revolutionary road. Boston: Little, Brown & Co.