The Accidental Tourist

The Accidental Acceptance: Family and Modernity in 'The Accidental Tourist' and 'Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant' 12th Grade

Although she had a “fairly isolated childhood” (Salwak, 3), Anne Tyler’s insights about family are remarkably accurate. In two of Tyler’s books, The Accidental Tourist and Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant, she tells the tales of two very different families. However, the believable emotional state and interactions of the characters make it seem as if Tyler had lived each life herself. For instance, The Accidental Tourist (TAT) focuses on Macon Leary’s relationship with two women: his wife, Sarah, and his lover, Muriel. In contrast, Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant (DatHR) looks at the Tull family as a whole. Both books share the theme of yearning for an ideal family. The characters strive for perfection in their relationships until the end of the books where they accept the imperfection in their family. To depict this transformation, Tyler utilizes aspects of modernism such as loss, change, and chaos. Thus, to Tyler, human existence is the acceptance of each other. This is demonstrated in the books Dinner At the Homesick Restaurant and The Accidental Tourist through the modern aspects of characters yearning for a perfect family.

Modernism began in the late 19th and early 20th century. World War One is looked at as the dividing...

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