Document Type



Bachelor of Arts in English


James Tackach, Ph.D.


Richard Yates' Revolutionary Road (1961) illustrates the degradation inherent in the suburban myth of the 1950s American dream. Yates traces a direct connection between this ideology and the destruction of the individual, the family, and the larger community. Drawing on scholarship tracing back to approximately 439 B.C.E. (the publication of Confucius' The Analects of Confucius) this thesis contrasts the American Dream with Confucian instructions about how to live a balanced life by balancing the Five Basic Human Relationships. These relationships - relationship between ruler and subject, husband and wife, parents and children, between siblings and between neighbors - dictate daily interactions within social realms and guide individuals towards harmonious living. In Yates' Revolutionary Road all of these relationships lack balance and thus lead to the utter destruction of every member of this novel’s community.