It is a suburban town populated with people with good intentions. But as we all know, the road to hell was paved with the acts of this kind of folks. Among those good acts is a play. It was supposed to be something simple, nice and sweet. A group of amateur actors join to produce a play called “The Petrified Forest”. But everything goes terrible wrong. Actually, embarrassingly wrong.
This is the very first chapter of Richard Yates’s “Revolutionary Road”. This beginning sets the mood for the whole novel: something simple that was supposed to work fine, but ends terribly bad. The presentation of the play works as a metaphor for the Wheelers’ marriage. They could be happy, but inner and outer forces force them to have a miserable life.
Young, beautiful, with two lovely kids and with enough money to live peacefully, April and Frank Wheeler seem to be the perfect couple at the surface. But, as Yates allows us to see under the roof of their home, one learns that they have emotional issues that are destroying their union.
The strongest force to separate them is the post-War melancholy. They can’t relate to anyone else, let alone to each other. April and Frank has drifted apart, and what is left is emotional abuse that may destroy everything.
Yates paints a portrait of a relationship that has no place to survive anymore. April doesn’t love Frank any more – has she ever loved him?. Neither does he. So why do these people are still married? It was the time, it was the commodity of being together. The kids are a good excuse too. On the other hand, all this self-abuse has reached its peak, and they may not tolerate each other until the end of the narrative.
“Revolutionary Road” reminds us of what the good prose is capable of doing. As Yates is painting his characters in their time, he is also painting us. Human beings are the same, no matter what, when or where. Always unsatisfied.
Originalmente publicado em www.Amazon.com em 13/05/2007