Anne Tyler's classic novel, Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant

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Anne Tyler's classic novel, Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant

In Anne Tyler's classic novel, Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant, the reader experiences a variety of conflicts between parent and child, one of the most apparent being that between Pearl Tull and her eldest son, Cody. These two characters never seem to see eye to eye, as Pearl prefers to see only the negative aspects of her children. Cody never truly relates to Pearl and her manic ways. As the conflict unfolds between Pearl and Cody, the deeper meaning of the story is revealed; there is never a perfect family, but nonetheless, theirs is a family.

As the first child, Cody is expected to excel and be the ideal son. He establishes a rebellious personality once his
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The reader wonders why Ezra, the second child, is superior to Cody.
Pearl's unabashed affection for Ezra results in Cody's delinquency and self-imposed removal from his family.

Cody never liked going home to visit his mother, even though she seemed to encourage him to do so. In this aspect, the title carries heavy significance, "homesick" is actually translated to being sick of home. Simply, this is how Cody feels, he can't stand to be at home, or near his mother. In addition to physical and emotional pain, the reader can sense apathy from Cody towards his mother whenever he has to encounter her. "It's nothing to me what she thinks." ... "You don't know what she's like. You don't know what it was like growing up with her." Here, Cody expresses the emotional scars the continuing conflict with his mother has left in him. The one time Cody tries to reach out to his mother and be kind to her by buying her tickets to visit her old time friend, Pearl completely disregards his effort because she didn't want to miss Ezra's birthday. This has a lasting impact on
Cody's attitude, both towards his brother, who he already had envy of, and his mother. At that time, he began to dislike her more than ever.
This conflict displayed the permanent emotional damage created in
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