Lefebvre contends

 

Introduction

Lefebvre contends that the main impacts of ‘every day’ have greater impacts on women. This is due to various predispositions that persist in society where naturally women appear as a prejudiced lot. This is because the structures and institutions that exist in society permit some of these predispositions to impact heavily on women when compared to men. This is mainly through decision making mechanisms where women do not have more say in determining what they should do especially after they get married. This paper seeks to explore the contention by Lefebvre that everyday weighs more on women.

Discussion

I contend with the idea that everyday weighs more heavily on women. Women in the ‘revolutionary road’ are portrayed as less effective and people who live in the shadows of their men. This implies that they are a prejudiced lot since most of their thoughts and convictions are normally ignored in favor of what men want. This is clearly portrayed by the relationship between April and Frank. When the couple decided to change locations due to their boredom and restlessness that prevailed in their marriage, they initially agreed that they should move to Paris. But as April prepares and is overjoyed by the thoughts, Frank reverses the decision following prompts from his colleagues at the workplace. This leaves April devastated in thought as she could not comprehend continuing with the monotonous boredom that was a characteristic of their life.

Lefebvre indicates that women are the main culprits of the cyclical processes that are pervasive in life. Theses cycles prevent them from having any say on their predicaments and live in seclusion. April is fully house-bound taking care of their children while Frank is fully occupied at the workplace doing tasks that he never aspired to do. They become obsessed with some of the main symptoms of everyday which are repetition and fear (Lefebvre 9).

The act of Frank backtracking on their agreement with April to move to Paris appears to have infuriated April. It was the genesis of most of the arguments they had in the home. The behavior by Frank demonstrates that there was a great divergence in their aspirations and April was the most aggrieved party. This is because reality was slowly dawning on her that her life may eventually be confined to their home doing menial domestic duties which is a stark contrast to her ambitions before she got married. The repetitive nature of her daily responsibilities have illuminated her past rational ambitions and confined her to a life of bitterness, regret and anguish.

April is under intense pressure to conform to the daily demands of the life she is under. The suffocating mould that has engulfed her appears to crash her hopes as the cyclic nature of daily activities unfolds. This is mainly due to the passivity of the everyday life where she cannot make any conclusive decisions on the nature of their lives. She is demonstrated as a mere spectator who sometimes goes into moments of range due to frustrations and bitterness that life has imposed on her. This is because she must conform to programmed change that her present life presents.

The fact that ‘everyday weighs more heavily on women’ is also demonstrated by the situation that April is in. She has few or absolutely no options. This is depicted by the scene where she takes out her garbage can and sees that everyone else has their garbage cans on top of their vehicles. The sight of seeing all these cans make her makes the truth sink in her that her life has become despicable. When this is juxtaposed with the reality of Frank enjoying his train rides while smoking in the abundance of fresh air displays his freeness as opposed to the confinement of April.

Frank was also deceitful to April and took advantage of her tribulations. He got involved in an extramarital affair at his workplace. He also enjoyed warm companionship with his friends and could often go out for lunches. He therefore could not correctly perceive the depth of frustrations and loneliness that April was exposed to. The breaking point of April’s predicaments come when she discovers that she is pregnant with their third child. She knows this may be the final death knell on her ambitions and dreams. The pregnancy is also another indication of the passivity of women when it came to decision making. Women are so prejudiced to an extent that they cannot make a decision concerning their own bodies i.e. whether it’s the opportune time to get pregnant or not. This is bearing the fact that Frank’s behaviors were amorous and he least cared about April’s emotional and mental health (Yates 37).

April fervently tried to confront her tribulations so that she could live the dream life that she had aspired. She needed more in life other than a family, marriage and a home. She wants to find a way of how she can escape the stifling predispositions of being a house wife.  However, she lacks the support of her husband who is comfortable in living a similar life to that which his father had lived working in industries at low paying positions. April was therefore able to visualize that modernity was presenting her with a form of everydayness that only the brave could surmount. Everything around her appeared so superficial but due to lack of capability and any meaningful support from her husband, she could not overcome her predicament.

The general imbalances in the distribution of passivity in society weigh more heavily on women (Highmore 12). This is demonstrated by the situations of both Frank and April where even if both are not living to their full potential, most of the odds are starkly in favor of Frank. He enjoys train rides to and from work everyday. This amidst company of fellow workers and comrades and is not subjected to the repetitive home chores that April is subjected to. This is because Frank earns a salary as a compensation for his efforts but April earns nothing. She must remain subservient to Frank in order to raise their children simply because she has no income.

The intervention by neighbors who influenced Frank to change his mind when they had decided to move to Paris demonstrates how matters to do with ‘everyday’ are treated casually. There was no review or evaluation as to why that decision had been arrived at. Frank had previously seen the logic of moving out of the US to Paris and had vividly described the impending move as an act of running away from what he describes as emptiness of life. How this emptiness later became fulfilling and thought of the move as inappropriate is amazing. Those involved did not even consider the opportunities that such a move could have brought to April. This subdued her to the banality of daily household chores that have become the uniform aspects of all her life engagements (Felski 79).

The confining and conformist nature of April’s life ends tragically after the abortion. This series of events brings to the fore the dangers that befall women due to conservative social values that place them in indecisive and risky situations that harm their lives. It lays bare the prejudices that women have to go through in order to conform to everyday demands of their lives. The society has created a lot of stereotypical beliefs that place women at the periphery (Schroder 128). They are not accorded any equal opportunities with men for fair competition. It exposes bare the need to address issues to do with feminism. This is because April had no avenues to chart her tribulations and what was going through her mind. She relies on an insincere husband who finds treasure elsewhere other than his own house. This led to frustrations and feelings of disenfranchisement on April and finally leads her to her death.

Conclusion

The iterative acts in everyday life that are not balanced in terms of gender normally impose an imbalance in society which if not addressed can lead to problems like what happened to April and Frank. Despite having ambitions and aspirations of what they wanted to be, they find themselves condemned into an unenviable life. They failed to have the final say on their lives that became shaped by nature. None of them was comfortable in their daily duties. However, it is the woman, April who finds herself more confined at home to take care of their children and has no opportunity to engage in any other tasks that could add value to her life. She lives a life of denial especially after her husband refused to move the family to Paris. It somehow led to loss of her dreams and any positive thoughts she had in life. The failure by Frank to offer emotional support to his wife, April, is reminiscent with chauvinistic ideals propagated by everyday beliefs and norms in societal. This is mainly due to patriarchal norms that elevate man above the woman at home. There is therefore need for reform so that women can be relieved of heavy burdens they carry due everyday beliefs.

 

 

Work cited

Felski, Rita. The Invention of Everyday Life. Doing Time: Feminist Theory and Post Modern Culture. New York. New York University Press. 2000.

Highmore, Ben. Figuring the Everyday. Everyday Life and Cultural Theory: An Introduction. London: Routledge. 2002.

Lefebvre, Henri. The Everyday and Everydayness. Yale French Studies 73: 7-11. 1987.

Schroder, Iris.  Feminist Reform Endeavors. Journal of Women’s History 16: 127–147. 2004.

Yates, Richard. Revolutionary Road. New York. Vintage Press. 2000.

 

 

 

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