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Introduction to Lefebvre's View of Work and Leisure

Discuss about the Lefebvres View of the Work-Leisure Relationship.

The movie “Revolutionary Road” as developed has significantly evolved to highlight the various valleys and mountains that the today’s life is all about. At the start of the movie, a married couple whose life is ahead of them is introduced, and they are required to decide on critical matters. Lefebvre proposed that leisure time is the time spent away from work. The most important question is whether there exists any considerable relationship between leisure and work. The present work seeks to investigate whether such relationships do exist and what forms an obstacle towards reaching the most regarded life status. Therefore, one can agree with Lefebvre statement that “We work to earn our leisure, and leisure has only one meaning: to get away from work. A vicious circle”.

The statement “We work to earn our leisure, and leisure has only one meaning: to get away from work. A vicious circle” true as brought out in the movie. The two seem to be blinded by love and have so much to ponder and achieve in their newly formed relationship. It is evident that the couples are driven by some hunger for something not understanding their middle age life. The couple wished to fulfill their fantasies little did they know their love was driven by yearnings. Lefebvre particular considers an individual’s life is a totality of what happens throughout time. Though much is anticipated, one can start to think or imagine that, the couple seem to be losing track and ought to meet what they have been preparing for all their life. In the introduction, it can be noted that Frank secures an executive job where he works as a salesperson but April (a housewife and jobless) views her husband’s job as meaningless - and working as an office machine. She jokes by saying that her husband may later become one of the office machines if he is not one. The question that arises is whether April and her husband are confused or don’t know how to handle rhetorical life situations that fall into place without knocking. Through analysis of the key parts of the movie, the paper seeks to provide an answer or simply an explanation of their present actions (Ploger and Lefebvre 65).

Lefebvre proposed that leisure is free time spend away from the business, education, domestic chores, and other activities. He points out that leisure and work are inseparable and life of any person is subject to the division of labor and in the social perception, this is reflected in leisure activities. ‘…everyday evidence always evidences the potential for transformation. He perceived every day as a critical totality of social life. His final work persuades the theme of everyday life by approaching it as a time-space that could be open to rhythm analysis” (Lefebvre, 65).  With diverse life dimensions, it is important not to consider one’s life as one junk of a thing. The movie depicts April as one who is after personal interests and has fewer considerations into their current life with two kids and responsibilities to meet. Hence, a clear indication that the statement “we work to earn our leisure, and leisure has only one meaning: to get away from work. A vicious circle” is true.

Analysis of 'Revolutionary Road': Balancing Work and Leisure

The essay is interested in investigating the relation between leisure and work as portrayed in the movie “Revolutionary Road” and also as depicted in Lefebvre essays. Kate Winslet, a mother of two, suggests to her husband to quit job not bearing in mind they now have responsibilities to meet as parents. The recklessness of the couple is shown by the fact that they both got together through pregnancy and seemed to take their children as a car that you can’t think of if you are not driving it. Lefebvre rhythm analysis implies that the newlywed has their life happening in cyclically. This states by Lefebvre “we work to earn our leisure, and leisure has only one meaning: to get away from work. A vicious circle” credibility and validity ("Revolutionary Road (2008) Movie - Leonardo Dicaprio, Kate Winslet, Christopher Fitzgerald" 19:25).

A rhetorical question that would arise is where the two are headed? One can see by the look of things; the two are headed to life dilemma. The movie reveals by coincidence that, the time Frank secures job promotion and a pay rise is the same time April is persistent about their move to Paris. As put forward by Lefebvre, the couple fails to confront the twists that seem to befall them and are headed to a big loss. It is frustrating for their son to come from a mental hospital just to meet the ugly insights at the Wheelers (McGuire, Vio and O'leary 251-257) (Zuzanek and Mannell 31-57).

Dicaprio and Winslet predicted the romance heading in “Titanic” – this simply implies just like the most regard ship did perish, the lives of the couple seem to be headed the same direction. At one point the movie portrays the couple with their children as living in Connecticut suburbs and being viewed as role models in the region, however, this seems to take a different direction due to April’s selfishness. The couple seems to be in love with the world of entertainment and is moved by the photo of Beatnik listening to a record of modern jazz that was said to be cool. They seem to value leisure more than the ideal life and are too extravagant on luxuries (Townsend 442-456).

April is portrayed as a villain. She thinks her man is busy doing a useless job which she related that of his father. The movie portrays our daily lives as composed of rhythms, and understanding this, is an inherent factor of everyday life. The rhythm is circular and inevitable on the road of one’s revolution (Zuzanek and Mannell 31-57). At some point, Frank is brought out as having a love affair with a secretary (workmate). The theme of betrayal is well depicted when he spends a night with his workmate. This demonstrates immorality and bad use of leisure time. He does seem to understand himself and also betrays his wife April. Several immoral practices are therefore witnessed as both partners indulge in dancing and drinking in the cities. In the movie, Frank spends a night away from home without a substantial reason. “Some session of the movie presents a series of emotionally laden memories and textual echoes that render the film cyclical” (Lefebvre 65). The revolutionary road is a cyclical narrative, a recapitulation of events that allow change of in an emotional perspective. Like any other man of the times (the 1950’s), Frank fails tragically in reaching out his dream life being a man of substance, different from his father who worked in the same organization but led a miserable life (Revolutionary Road (2008) 44:05).

The Importance of Leisure and Productive Labor

Lefebvre brings out leisure as one term that can be understood by not only considering the free alternative of work but as broader relations. He points out that some practices that individuals assume may not be distinctively taken as leisure. Individuals and personalities can improve their productivity by getting involved in leisure activities (Aitchison 20). Productive labor is matched with the rhythm of life – people look for active leisure activities while leisure machines like television sets and radios promote passive leisure (Shaw 271-286). The question that comes in here is whether Leisure is important to one’s life. The likely answer to this question could be relaxation, entertainment, and pleasure. Leisure should not be spent in immoral behaviors. Thus, sexual practices, criminal actions, and other social vices should not be part of leisure activities (Choi and Yoo 140-155). The statement “we work to earn our leisure, and leisure has only one meaning: to get away from work. A vicious circle” as depicted by Lefebvre is true.

In a nutshell, the Revolutionary Road movie leaves the audience in a situation that compels an individual to reflect on present-day life. Every day is represented by a variety of issues that couples need to absorb and have the right mentality towards handling these issues that led to disastrous life for the couple. It should be noted that falling for ferocious fights, and conflict is bound to happen. In “Revolutionary Road” movie, this seemed to be the case for Frank and April since both have failed to establish their passions and missions in their lives. Since life is quite unpredictable, and no one knows what tomorrow has in store for us, then it can be recommended that balance between leisure and work is quite paramount (Highmore 40-0216-40-0216). One can agree with Lefebvre statement that “We work to earn our leisure, and leisure has only one meaning: to get away from work. A vicious circle”.

Aitchison, Cara. "Young Disabled People, Leisure and Everyday Life: Reviewing Conventional Definitions for Leisure Studies." Annals of Leisure Research 3.1 (2000): 1-20. Web.

Arnold, Peter. "On The Relationship Between Education, Work and Leisure: Past, Present and Future." British Journal of Educational Studies 37.2 (1989): 136-146. Web.

Choi, Suh-hee, and Ye-ji Yoo. "Leisure Attitude and Satisfaction with Leisure and Life: Proposing Leisure Prioritization and Justification." World Leisure Journal 59.2 (2016): 140-155. Web.

Highmore, Ben. "Everyday Life and Cultural Theory: An Introduction." Choice Reviews Online 40.01 (2002): 40-0216-40-0216. Web.

Janke, Megan C. et al. "The Role of Life Experiences On Perceptions of Leisure During Adulthood: A Longitudinal Analysis." Leisure Sciences 33.1 (2010): 52-69. Web.

Kiely, E. "Young People, Risk and Leisure, Constructing Identities in Everyday Life." Community Development Journal 41.1 (2005): 116-119. Web.

"Revolutionary Road (2008) Movie - Leonardo Dicaprio, Kate Winslet, Christopher Fitzgerald." YouTube. N.p., 2017. Web. 8 Oct. 2017.

McGuire, Francis A., F. Dominic Dotta Vio, and Joseph T. O'leary. "The Relationship of Early Life Experiences to Later Life Leisure Involvement." Leisure Sciences 9.4 (1987): 251-257. Web.

Ploger, John, and Henri Lefebvre. "Critique of Everyday Life." Geografiska Annaler. Series B, Human Geography 77.1 (1995): 65. Web.

Shaw, Susan M. "Dereifying Family Leisure: An Examination of Women's and Men's Everyday Experiences and Perceptions of Family Time." Leisure Sciences 14.4 (1992): 271-286. Web.

Townsend, Keith. "Leisure at Work, Who Can Resist? An Investigation into Workplace Resistance by Leisure Service Employees." Journal of Industrial Relations 45.4 (2003): 442-456. Web.

Wei, Xiang et al. "Leisure Time, Leisure Activities, And Happiness in China: Evidence from A National Survey." Journal of Leisure Research 47.5 (2015): n. pag. Web.

Zuzanek, Jiri, and Roger Mannell. "Leisure Behaviour and Experiences as Part of Everyday Life: The Weekly Rhythm." Loisir et Société / Society and Leisure 16.1 (1993): 31-57. Web.

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