She knows she can’t have that baby. In the movie she stands by the window with a smirk on her face. Additionally her note to Frank said ‘whatever happens don’t blame yourself’ which seems to leave open the possibility that she might survive. I know I sound hard-hearted but was an impending abortion traumatic enough to justify this degree of distress? both very emotional plots and stories. They are very different art forms and the narratives aren’t the same. She wanted to be an actress, she gave up her life when she became pregnant and moved to Revolutionary Road, she wanted herself and Frank to be amazing, her parents had failed her as a child..I think she just couldn’t handle any more. Revolutionary Road is a 2008 romantic drama film directed by Sam Mendes.The screenplay was written by Justin Haythe, adapted from the 1961 novel of the same name by Richard Yates.It stars Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet, with Michael Shannon, Kathryn Hahn, David Harbour, and Kathy Bates in supporting roles. I think I agree with every word of this: both possibilities are tantalisingly left open. I’ve read most of the comments on the post, and I’m very much enjoying reading the different views. As I said before, 6 years later but I still wanted to comment. The one crazy enough to risk financial safety to pursue one’s dream (even if it may turn out to be just a mirage) or the one who accepts a lifeless status quo? Thanks for your comment. Richard Yates’s novel Revolutionary Road (1961) follows Frank and April Wheeler, a bright couple who have always maintained the assumption that happiness and fulfillment are soon to be theirs. As with so many of my other responses to comments posted, I’d like to thank you for writing on my blog but I am NOT interested in the film. ( Log Out / You get 10 points if you can explain the first part thurally and answer the second part. With Leonardo DiCaprio, Kate Winslet, Christopher Fitzgerald, Jonathan Roumie. Even the warmest ember of his hearth! Revolutionary Road Summary Revolutionary Road is a film centered on April and Frank a couple that lives with their two children in a suburb area of Connecticut in the mid-1950s. In Yates's novel, April is a discontented woman for whom things have not worked out very well. April never grew up. I couldn’t help but sympathize with her. He’s reveling in this very discussion, in the ambiguity of the action. So I know she does it using the rubber tube and its a home abortion but how did she do it with the tube how dos it work, I am just crious and want to understand the movie better. You feel for her, you loather her, you are glad you are not her. How do I know this? She might have been selfish at SO many points, but obviously that’s because of a big mistake at the very beginning when she was impressed with the wrong man, dreaming of the wrong life (at least to Frank), and for the whole 2 hours of the movie, she’s been trying to fix that terrible mistake by thinking immaturely and stepping on everyone else’s emotions, hoping she’d run into a solution, but obviously, she failed. Pity him who is happy! Her interest in his working day is a manifestation of that – placing the emphasis anywhere but on them. Voting company sues Fox, Giuliani over election claims, Rapper's $24M diamond forehead piercing explained, Tom Cruise's adopted son posts rare photo, Yellen warns of 'tough months,' pushes for stimulus, No regrets for Chiefs OL who opted out of season, Video: Almost everyone at Fla. supermarket is maskless, Trump quits actors union after it moves to expel him, Report: High levels of toxic metals found in baby foods, Mitt Romney proposes new stimulus for parents, Breaking point between Cowboys and star QB looms, Why some businesses are thriving during pandemic. She wanted to live, and to get away from her husband. Yes, she was commited to them and tried to help them and wanted their help too, but the moment they mention Paris, she realises that they are not commited to her, to the house and to the suburban idyll that she thinks she offers and which to an extent Yates suggests she represents. In short, April has a bit of the soul of a poet, and makes the mistake of thinking Frank’s the same, but Frank’s just a family man business type who, as I said, doesn’t have the tools to handle April. Or rather, of course, he means for April to have it. By the end she realizes that she has been chasing a mirage all along (and lying to Frank and to herself) and that Frank was never and could never be the man she thought or hoped he would be. But then, of course, there are her phone calls…why be so very upset when calling Milly if she didn’t think she was going to die? She didn’t want to die. Posted on 20 December, 2012 by Shweta Krishnan. . I know DeWitt Henry has been teaching Yates at Emerson College in Boston and I know he is being taught at Ipswich School in the UK and at Sherborne School also in the UK but you will agree that that is hardly proof of anything. The ending infuriated me, btw. Anyway best wishes for the future. Without a dream, a flexing of wings, She knew time was running out. Also, did Frank give April enough support when she told him she was pregnant? This is the first movie that I cannot form my own interpretation from, and its because of the very VERY end with Kathy Bates’s husband. He let go of the Paris idea because it was the dream of a immature young man with no ties, no family. Some reviewers thought it glorified abortion, others thought it shed bad light on at-home abortions. Thank you for taking the time to write, Heather. I also think that she wasn’t trying so much to get rid of the baby, but to find a way to escape. No, I haven’t seen the movie yet, and I’m curious about the statements here about how this complex and fascinating question is handled. What else could she do? I think the author intended us to connect with Frank in the end, not April. Escalation of Anti-Abortion Conflict and Violence . Maybe. Thanks XD ! But he confirms her fears–this is the life Frank wants. Kate wants to live. Hey, it could have worked, right? My wrting is not as eloquent or complete as the others. Change ), You are commenting using your Facebook account. While Frank seems supportive of April at first, he becomes furious after finding the hidden instruments April was planning to use to induce her abortion. Yes, maybe ‘screw it’ was all she had mental and emotional capacity for. Coming into their bedroom to get dressed, she had seen Frank lying on the bed, looking ill. I won’t publish your responses unless you want me to. Mendes (in the film) makes it a point to call out how tough Kate is (at the dinner scene with John–right, John being the voice of truth in the film.). I particularly like the way you question the phone call: ‘The sad part for me was she knew she was going to die…why did she phone the ambulance? I feel suicide was most definitely April’s intentions. I just finished watching the movie for the second or third time, but I haven’t read the book. Were you taught by him? Not to mention, who does herself in by botched abortion? Think Annette Benning in American Beauty, or Scarlette O’hara pre-war. I’m pretty positive many viewers found her immature, but I believe that’s only part of her wanting so bad to seek the life she’s always dreamed of, in a desperate try to defend the last bits of hope to live happily. You know how emotions interfere with consciousness and awareness sort of thing. So where would she put the tube? Or a deliberate and well-placed attempt to point up the instability of all claims to truth, whether in realist writing or any other form? Yates–and his character April–was aware of other ways to abort the baby, but the specific choice, which included isolation and the impossibility of getting help, shows the clear intention. It is because of her that the son is unwell. I can only claim about five years of obsession. The things Frank and her kids will never know. A calculated suicide. The movie is an interpretation of Yates’ work. The phone called to Milly, the breakfast, and her demeanor period led me to believe this. Great idea for a post. In the book she leaves the number of the hospital next to the phone before she performs the procedure. Yes, powerful, tragic, bold and uncompromising but what happens? What movie is it where the child drowns and the ghost comes back to live again at the end of the movie . This story brilliantly brings into focus two intertwined existential questions: 2) Who is the crazy one? Where is the baby? Many people see this as a gentle form of redemption as she accepts, finally, the love and support of family and, by implication, Christianity. Which effectively induced a miscarriage. Also thankyou for printing my comment before. You are welcome Kate. One last thought: immediately before the abortion comes the reverie about one of her dad’s rare visits when she was a child. he was a borken man in the old life i could ever deal with those circumstances! Very tragic . I hate the sad endings… It’s a pity because Kate is so good… Who wrote the ending??? 5 years ago. Now, what you may well ask: perhaps I will try to turn it into a book. Can you watch a whole movie without looking at your phone? Happy with his life, If she survived she would be in a position to move on with her life. isn’t always targeted at first but often get it anyway as default.) Of course, who would she have been if she had lived? Within a few years of Revolutionary Road's appearance, female discontent would be anatomized, analyzed, and shown to be the inevitable consequence of thoughtless male prerogative. I think that the better view is that April did not intend to die although she knew that giving herself an abortion after the ‘safe’ date had passed carried a high risk of death. The movie ending totally belies a clear path to her original intent. 2nd part - because of the law back then, making it illegal to have an abortion, April (kate) had to use a back-alley way to have an abortion which would usually end in the death of the mother because of the unsafe and unsanitary way in which she had an abortion (because of the tube) she more than likely tried to pull the baby out but didn't succeed or died as a result of this. Her life died. The character in Yates’ book is called April and she behaves in significantly different ways to Kate Winslet’s interpretation of her in the film. (fam. It was made clear that Frank felt like she did it on purpose knowing she would die. The main characters, Frank and April (played by Leonard DeCaprio and Kate Winslet) want more for themselves than suburbia has to offer. I can’t tell you how happy it makes me to receive a comment based on a close reading of the novel rather than the film! She had dreams of moving to Paris and Frank started backing away from that dream to live there have another kid and get his raise. My personal take on the story is that since it is told from the perspective of Frank, you know only slightly more than he does…you are left feeling empty (ironic since living an EMPTY life was a big deal in the story) and unsatisfied that you will never know exactly what the hell was going on in her head. 1st part - take a guess. Your illustration of people viewing the last scene in “The Easter Parade” as any kind of redemption or embrace of family or Christianity is such an instance. She has resigned herself to “whatever happens” afterwards. April got what she deserved. I really really don’t want to discuss the movie. She felt no attachment to her life. It’s a grotesque, misogynistic thought, and would be the stupidest of plans–just as likely to fail as not. Yes I think maybe it was partly what you call the ’emotional pain’ he felt for the Wheelers that means he doesn’t want to hear his wife bad-mouthing them but also I think Yates suggests that the only way that Howard Givings can live with his wife is to live by creating his own little world that she cannot disturb. She killed herself.’ (p.320) with his later musing on the event as it might have happened. Frank also rubbished her ability as a Mother and told her the baby, that she kept for him, wasn’t wanted. This continues and she clutches onto the one dream she feels they share in order to regain a connection with her Husband. She killed herself.’. So that’s that. All the things she says at the end are said to justify her own position in a community the Wheelers have implicitly criticised. Can I just say Kathy Bates is not a character in the novel and I am only interested in the novel. He lives because life lasts. inside her again. When he leaves for work she snaps. The tubing is used to suck the fetus out of the uterus. He’s not such a man, however, and certainly not serious about work in any real sense (except that of material and ostensible success). It makes sense given that the film is based in the 1960s before abortion … They are full of blame and hate. These papers were written primarily by students and provide critical analysis of Revolutionary Road by Richard Yates. I’m afraid only Yates’ words are pertinent to this discussion. Unfortunately, like in the movie, it causes what's called negative pressure, inside the uterus which damages blood vessels causing them to rupture, most notably the cervical artery, which normally would cause a person to bleed to death in minutes, but coupled with contractions it'd take seconds. Thank you for this Dylan. I've seen this film 2 times now and i can't seem to draw a conclusion to WHY she gave herself that abortion that ultimately killed her! Essays for Revolutionary Road. i saw the apparatus (red ball pump like thing with a tube) and she took hot water in the bathroom with her. I just saw the movie revolutionary road. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one: :O). The film is a re-interpretation and is not Yates’ work. He’s a man looking for a calm place to settle down, she’s looking for a constant change.. I believe she had so much good in her, and in her last try to give up and TRY to live happily the way LIFE planned for her, she aborted herself for a fresh start, but instead, unintentionally, killed herself. But soon, she found herself with a man who wants a life completely different than the one she’d planned for. She cries when talking to Milly–she knows she’s not going to see her kids again. People live on thinking that if there’s a way, irrespective of what the signs are, the way will come, someday… That’s what life’s about. When she starts up her tyraid about the Wheelers, he knows what’s really going on (she has done this many times before! Such a depressing movie. I just watched the movie. She is aware though that she has no options and the tragedy of Yates’s characters is that they often battle for ‘truth’ until all options run out. I think she was living on a high with the Paris dream, she wanted to get away (didn’t have to be Paris, could have been anywhere) and might have even looked forward to having the baby in a new home new “Way of Life” away from the stifling housewives suburban cage….when the realisation that nothing would change, that if they moved it would be to another bigger better suburban area, that she would fall in and out of love with Frank, that she would remain so desperately unhappy…she couldn’t face up to living like that any more. We have to presume it was her call – there was no one else there. In a way he’s substituting this for Anna Karenina throwing herself on the train tracks. If you watch the movie, Vera Drake (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vera_Drake) it shows in more detail the "back door" abortion procedure. If you are a student (or a teacher) and have been dropping in on my blog, could you let me know what your school is (wherever it is): the name, the place and what you have been studying in the way of Yates. More than the primeval law: I agree that it was a suicide. No. Maybe she thought I could die, but probably not, screw it. If you read the novel you will get a much more sympathetic and more complicated description of April’s character and actions. I myself could challenge this statement I make..But little good will it do to the way I live… What Yates characters are suicidal? Nothing within him whispers When April ran off into the woods I could really relate to how she felt, she wanted away from the lonely, hollow pain inside but her body wasn’t her own. Women took abortion decisions into their hands in the days before it became legal, and April performs a DIY abortion which leads to devastating consequences. The novel by Yates and the film by Mendes are two very different things: at best, the film is an interpretation of Yates’s writing. ( Log Out / Alice that is wonderful….thank you. I am neither a student or a teacher although I enjoyed studying literature in my student days. I don’t agree with this and feel Yates makes it as clear as he can without stating anything directly that she capitulates because she has no choice. & yup, I use ‘may’ a lot of times in what I write…If only life were really(not just we thinking it is)more predictable…. Okay, enough. Kathy Bates’ character is a narcissist. Surely the careful reader picks up on those and then is not sure what to do with them once she dies? The writer must trust his reader, a truism, and that requires some common sense on the part of the reader. People don’t live on thinking that if they’re sure nothing’s gonna change, then it may not be worth living, though they can, knowing that they will, until they break, but at the same time convinced that they surely wont…It’s like living a paradox… It cleans sperm from the vaginal canal. The way April speaks.. seeming real to frank.. yet, from 3rd person point of view one can make out it is fake(don’t get me wrong here..read on).. Frank can’t because, he hopes against the thing he doesn’t want it to turn out to be..anyone in such a situation does.. She didn’t love her husband. He cannot accept the distance that seems to her necessary and natural, so he in effect smothers her. & what you’ve justified in the reply surely confirms otherwise(abt the futility). He choosed to do what he wanted with no consideration for what they planed together as a couple. It is her politeness that is so devastating for us in the sense that we appreciate the restraint and the inner turmoil it conceals. This entry was posted on December 17, 2008 at 4:50 pm and is filed under Debatable issues. If I need proof he is being taught the more of you that do that the more proof I will have. But April, she has no way out..or at least she thinks so.. The reason she speaks about them that way is because they had been targets of hers, and once they saw thru her charade, and saw how the family dynamic was, they become a liability and it’s time for a “smear campaign”.. (Bringing the son was NOT to help him, or the Weelers. (It's also based on a true story). Interesting. I believe April left the note for Frank knowing full well the very real likelihood that she will not be around anymore to explain its meaning. Utterly bleak. Directed by Sam Mendes. The implication of this might extend beyond the Givingses and suggest that all men and all women remain very separate in marriage. He seemed to pounce on her for not telling him sooner. She is aborting her dreams of Paris, accepting her rooted fate of a conventional existence. And thus, as DHenry points out, April becomes collateral damage in her abortion attempt. April was very depressed and grasping at ways in which to restore what they once had, but with what they had now gone and the responsibility of 3 children she had no way out. And yet we have Yates’s objective correlative to help position us here: ‘The cigarette broke and shredded in her fingers’. That’s what makes April weak and selfish because if it couldn’t be Paris, then it could be nothing. She no longer wanted to or could live a life of lies. You can sign in to vote the answer. She cannot be successful as an actress, so she grasps at her husband’s romantic attachment to Paris as a way to fulfill her hopes through him. “Pity him who lives at home After watching this movie a few times I can finally see April’s demise as a very desperate, human, albeit selfish thing to do. 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