Character Analysis Of Richard Yates's 'Revolutionary Road'

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In chapter three of Revolutionary Road, Richard Yates gives us some insight into the history of April and Frank Wheelers marriage. After a night spent sleeping apart from his wife, Frank is doing yard work in the garden and the task gives him the time to reflect on a several decisions April made over the course of their relationship; the first being making the choice to love him, and the second being the decision not to have a baby. Although we only have Frank’s unreliable narration to tell us how April was motivated to make these choices, this passage clues us into one of many problems in this couples marriage; Frank does not trust April to be open and honest with him. It is this mistrust and lack of communication between the main characters …show more content…
When Frank characterizes Aprils reasoning as selfish and complicated (Yates 49), he 's dismissing Aprils as a logical being. He thinks that April married him because he was "the first love of any kind she 'd ever known" (Yates 50), alluding to her childhood when she had no one who made her feel cared for. One of the wheelers explosive arguments that frank recalls in this passage was triggered by something April said to him while they were dating. "I love you when you 're nice" she told him (Yates 49). This statement is as difficult to parse as the character of April herself. Frank interprets it as a manipulation tactic on April’s part, and as evidence that she is not as taken with him as he wants her to be. Believing that love should be absolute, Frank issues her an ultimatum: April needs to love him entirely or not at all. Yates does not give us the context for Aprils comment, but if it was said as an honest and unintentionally harmful offhand statement then Frank’s reaction could only have contributed to her reluctance to be open with him. Frank is frustrated by April again when she does not meet his expectations of how a sharing a husband and wife should be with their feelings. He feels estranged from her after the news of April’s unplanned pregnancy (Yates 51). When April broke the news that she had a plan to terminate the pregnancy, his internal reaction was neither concern for her safety or righteous outrage on behalf of the baby 's life. He was first and foremost hurt by the prospect that April had excluded him from her decision making process. April confirms his fears that she doesn 't see his involvement as necessary in her life decisions when she tells him "there 's no need for you to hear about it" as if in punishment for not supporting her decision (Yates 52). Revolutionary Road is a novel that often displays its characters as acting, or in

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