Yates’s penetrating, heartrending, and time and again very humorous writing style puts together an account that is right away a mesmerizing epoch piece and a clairvoyant expectation of the approach we have towards life these days.
The main female character of the book is April Wheeler, who is an extremely depressed person. April puts up with disappointment and terror, with pregnancy and aspiration, and what is most is that she wants to escape. Late in the novel April calls out that she does not know who she really is or what her personality really is like. This shows just what a depressed character April is because of her lost dreams. April is thumped around by her husband who hits her if she even dares to speak without her turn. Not only are her career dreams shattered but she also lives with a man who does not seem to like her anymore.
April has been presented as an archetypal fifties housewife whose only responsibility left now is to take care of her two children. She being an unsuccessful would-be actress commences the novel in a neighborhood pretentious group play which turns out to be a disaster. This is where she starts feeling unhappy about her life. The play begins with the first drama of their neighborhood dramatic production, where she performs extremely bad. As the author says, “She was working alone, and visibly weakening with every line. Before the end of the first act the audience could tell as well as the Players that she’d lost her grip, and soon they were all embarrassed for her. She had begun to alternate between false theatrical gestures and a white-knuckled immobility; she was carrying her shoulders high and square, and despite her heavy make-up you could see the warmth of humiliation rising in her face and neck” (Yates, p.9).
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