Document Type



Bachelor of Arts in English


James Tackach, Ph.D.


American literature of the 1960s such as Richard Yates’ Revolutionary Road and David Rabe’s Sticks and Bones portrays the generation gap through the deterioration and failure of father and son relationships in American society. Yates anticipated the generation gap through the relationship of Earl and Frank Wheeler, which suffered because of the generational shift in values regarding manhood, hierarchy, and employment. Likewise, Rabe exaggerated the portrayal of the “perfect” American family in order to reveal the deterioration of Ozzie and Dave’s relationship, largely as a result of their opposing perspectives on the Vietnam War. The resentment and contempt which developed between these literary fathers and sons on account of their opposing values paralleled the lack of understanding which defined the generation gap of the 1960s.