The character of Howard Givings in Revolutionary Road from LitCharts | The creators of SparkNotes

Revolutionary Road

Howard Givings Character Analysis

A frail man who seems older than his sixty-eight years, Howard Givings leads a relaxed, unstimulating life. He is able to exert control over John when he becomes agitated and can calm Helen, but he often turns off his hearing aid to block them out when he feels like listening is unnecessary.

Howard Givings Quotes in Revolutionary Road

The Revolutionary Road quotes below are all either spoken by Howard Givings or refer to Howard Givings. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Marriage and Selfhood Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Vintage edition of Revolutionary Road published in 2000.
Part 2, Chapter 3 Quotes

And she'd never been able to explain or even to understand that what she loved was not the job—it could have been any job—or even the independence it gave her (though of course that was important for a woman constantly veering toward the brink of divorce). Deep down, what she'd loved and needed was work itself. "Hard work," her father had always said, "is the best medicine yet devised for all the ills of man—and of woman," and she'd always believed it… [Work] was the substance of her love; it was all that fortified her against the pressures of marriage and parenthood. Without it, as she often said, she would have gone out of her mind.

Related Characters: Helen Givings, Howard Givings
Page Number: 164
Explanation and Analysis:
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Part 3, Chapter 5 Quotes

"Big man you got here, April," he said, winking at her as he fitted the workman's cap on his head. "Big family man, solid citizen. I feel sorry for you. Still, maybe you deserve each other. Matter of fact, the way you look right now, I'm beginning to feel sorry for him, too. I mean come to think of it, you must give him a pretty bad time, if making babies is the only way he can prove he's got a pair of balls."
"All right, John," Howard was murmuring. "Let's get on out to the car now."
"April," Mrs. Givings whispered. "I can't tell you how sorry I—"
"Right," John said, moving away with his father. "Sorry, sorry, sorry. Okay Ma? Have I said 'Sorry' enough times? I am sorry, too. Damn; I bet I'm just about the sorriest bastard I know. Course, get right down to it, I don't have a whole hell of a lot to be glad about, do I?"
And at least, Mrs. Givings thought, if nothing else could be salvaged from this horrible day, at least he was allowing Howard to lead him away quietly. All she had to do now was to follow them, to find some way of getting across this floor and out of this house, and then it would all be over.
But John wasn’t finished yet. "Hey, I'm glad of one thing, though," he said, stopping near the door and turning back, beginning to laugh again, and Mrs. Givings thought she would die as he extended a long yellow-stained index finger and pointed it at the slight mound of April's pregnancy. "You know what I'm glad of? I'm glad I'm not gonna be that kid."

Related Characters: Helen Givings (speaker), John Givings (speaker), Howard Givings (speaker), Frank Wheeler , April Wheeler
Page Number: 302-303
Explanation and Analysis:
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Howard Givings Character Timeline in Revolutionary Road

The timeline below shows where the character Howard Givings appears in Revolutionary Road. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Part 2, Chapter 3
Class, Taste, and Status Theme Icon
Helen Givings and her husband Howard live in one of the few preserved pre-Revolutionary houses in the area. Helen has a... (full context)
Marriage and Selfhood Theme Icon
Manhood and Womanhood Theme Icon
Parents and Children Theme Icon
Conformity, Mental Illness, and Psychology Theme Icon
Class, Taste, and Status Theme Icon
...personality, an overdue maturation into womanhood that coincides with her going through menopause. For years, Howard asked her to quit working as a secretary, saying they didn’t need the money, but... (full context)
Marriage and Selfhood Theme Icon
Conformity, Mental Illness, and Psychology Theme Icon
Class, Taste, and Status Theme Icon
Helen serves Howard tea. He has his hearing aid off, and although Helen talks to him about her... (full context)
Marriage and Selfhood Theme Icon
Conformity, Mental Illness, and Psychology Theme Icon
Back at her home, Helen eagerly tells Howard the astonishing news that the Wheelers will be moving to Europe. She says it seems... (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 5
Parents and Children Theme Icon
Conformity, Mental Illness, and Psychology Theme Icon
...brought John nice clothes to wear, but he insists on wearing clothes from the hospital. Howard is no help, and Helen tries to fill the time by chattering about the zoning... (full context)
Parents and Children Theme Icon
Conformity, Mental Illness, and Psychology Theme Icon
Watching John, Frank, and April through the window, Helen observes to Howard that they seem to be having a nice time. Howard suggests that she relax and... (full context)
Part 3, Chapter 1
Conformity, Mental Illness, and Psychology Theme Icon
...John Givings’s visit. John is in an agitated state when he arrives with Helen and Howard. Frank hopes that seeing a “full-fledged mental case” will convince April that she ought to... (full context)
Part 3, Chapter 5
Conformity, Mental Illness, and Psychology Theme Icon
Helen and Howard drive to Greenacres to take John out for a visit. In the car, Helen tells... (full context)
Marriage and Selfhood Theme Icon
Manhood and Womanhood Theme Icon
Parents and Children Theme Icon
Conformity, Mental Illness, and Psychology Theme Icon
...and female.” He says it must have been Frank who got cold feet. Helen and Howard try to stop John from speaking, but he continues. He says that Frank probably got... (full context)
Marriage and Selfhood Theme Icon
Manhood and Womanhood Theme Icon
Parents and Children Theme Icon
Conformity, Mental Illness, and Psychology Theme Icon
...“making babies is the only way he can prove he’s got a pair of balls.” Howard and Helen try to usher John out, apologizing to the Wheelers. John says he’s very... (full context)
Part 3, Chapter 9
Parents and Children Theme Icon
Conformity, Mental Illness, and Psychology Theme Icon
...decides that he should no longer leave Greenacres because he is too destructive. She and Howard reduce the frequency of their visits to once a month. When John asks about the... (full context)
Marriage and Selfhood Theme Icon
Conformity, Mental Illness, and Psychology Theme Icon
Class, Taste, and Status Theme Icon
One night in May, Helen tells Howard that the Braces are the first really nice people she has ever found to live... (full context)