The 1950’s are often viewed with the lenses rose colored glasses. Television programs like the Donna Reed Show and Father Knows Best presented the image of the perfect Caucasian middle class family where the problems were simple and solvable with 30 minutes. Life is never that perfect or that easy.
Revolutionary Road, Richard Yates’s novel about the imperfections beneath the surface, was published in 2000.
Frank and April Wheeler are living what seems to be the perfect suburban middle class life in the 1950’s. But there are issues bubbling beneath the surface the threaten their marriage, their family and the image that they have cultivated for their friends and neighbors.
In 2008, the book was adapted into a movie starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet.
The book and the movie are both incredible. Despite it’s glossy image, the 1950’s was a very complicated and dark decade. Like any couple, Frank and April had problems that are not always obvious to the passerby, but upon further inspection, reveals large issues that are unresolved. The end is unflinchingly heart breaking.
I recommend both.