Helen takes great pride and pleasure in undertaking home improvement projects, which solidify her feeling of superiority to those in her suburban community who come from lower class backgrounds. When she brings Frank and April a gift of a sedum plant (a kind of succulent) to improve their lawn, she is signaling that she sees them as her equals in terms of class and education. She expects that they will take the same care with the plant that she would, because she sees gardening and beautifying one’s property as the kind of virtuous activity that well-adjusted, well-off people enjoy. Frank and April are irritated by the plant, however—reflecting their general dislike of the Givingses—and immediately put it in the basement.
The timeline below shows where the symbol Sedum Plant appears in Revolutionary Road. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Part 1, Chapter 3
...after drinking some coffee, but at that moment Helen Givings drops by, bringing him a sedum planting. Helen is always in motion, always smiling and laughing falsely. Frank cannot bring himself... (full context)
Part 1, Chapter 4
...fill the silence Milly talks about gardening, and Frank asks if she knows what “seecham” (sedum) is, saying Helen brought them some. Milly is unsure what it is. Milly suddenly remembers... (full context)
Part 3, Chapter 9