Introduction: Nowhere to Now Here
Using Richard Yates’ Revolutionary Road as a target text, George’s introduction lays out the stakes of his argument. He provides a history of suburbanization in the USA, connecting its emphasis on planned communities to Western social contract theory to argue that suburban communities were designed according to a Romantic individualism that understands the self as inherently anti-social. This introduction not only demonstrates that Revolutionary Road mocks such individualism, but also gestures toward a more relational form of engagement that responds to the needs of the neighbor in proximity. Drawing from Heidegger’s intersubjective authenticity, George argues that Yates imagines an instance of critical hospitality in the paradigmatic middle-class suburb to create not contractual communities, but singularities of care.