Revolutionary Road

Sedum Plant Symbol Icon

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.

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Sedum Plant Symbol Timeline in Revolutionary Road

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
Manhood and Womanhood Theme Icon
Conformity, Mental Illness, and Psychology Theme Icon
Class, Taste, and Status Theme Icon
...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)
Marriage and Selfhood Theme Icon
Manhood and Womanhood Theme Icon
Parents and Children Theme Icon
Class, Taste, and Status Theme Icon
...he asks her what he should do with the plant. He doesn’t remember what the sedum is called or anything Helen said about it. April asks what she is supposed to... (full context)
Part 1, Chapter 4
Manhood and Womanhood Theme Icon
Conformity, Mental Illness, and Psychology Theme Icon
...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
Marriage and Selfhood Theme Icon
Conformity, Mental Illness, and Psychology Theme Icon
Class, Taste, and Status Theme Icon
...lawn by trying to build a stone path. Helen had also found a box of sedum plantings, which she collected for them, in a corner in the cellar, and she felt... (full context)