April heard from a friend in drama school that a rubber syringe can be used to induce a miscarriage. Twice, April plans to use the syringe to end her pregnancy. For April, the syringe is a vehicle of taking control over her own destiny. But for Frank, who derives confidence in his own status as a man by convincing April to submit to his will, the syringe is a direct threat to his control over her. Frank sees April’s pregnancies as a way for him to prevent her from leaving him. He also sees April’s bearing of his children as an affirmation of his masculinity. Added to this, the syringe is shaped like a penis, and April intends to insert it into her vagina to induce a miscarriage. For this reason it not only symbolizes a threat to Frank’s ability to assert his right as a man to control April’s destiny, but it actually resembles a penis that is not Frank’s, and that will do the opposite of impregnate her.
The timeline below shows where the symbol The Rubber Syringe appears in Revolutionary Road. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Part 1, Chapter 3
...acting school classmate had told her a foolproof way to induce a miscarriage with a rubber syringe . Although Frank didn’t want a baby, he had fought with her bitterly, angry that... (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 6
...on the top shelf. Feeling afraid, Frank takes it down and discovers a newly bought rubber syringe inside the package. Without thinking, he storms into the kitchen and demands an explanation from... (full context)
Part 3, Chapter 1
Part 3, Chapter 7