Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant:The Broken Family Dynamic of the Tull Family

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In Anne Tyler’s Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant, the negative effects of a broken marriage on the family are continually presented through the use of multiple characters’ internal and external dialogue, along with their interpretations of events that determine their overall outlook on the world. Contrary to the “normative” family structure consisting of two parents, this family is run solely by the mother, Pearl Tull, who is often overwhelmed by her role of being the exclusive support for her three children - Cody, Ezra, and Jenny. The constant dissatisfaction of their mother and the early desertion of their father, Beck Tull, cause many issues throughout the relationships of the family members and those who become intertwined in their …show more content…
Consequently, her pessimistic nature and unimpressed attitude towards the world tend to rub off onto her children in many ways, including Cody’s need to always win at everything as a child. Not only is he obsessed with winning, he also expresses that “his smallness colored every act; he was conscious of a desperate need to learn to manage, to take charge of his surroundings” (47). It may be concluded that Pearl’s overwhelming expectancies of her children is one of the main catalysts working to cement Cody’s self-worth, of lack thereof. As an adult, Cody Tull even goes as far as stealing away the wife of Ezra in a jealous attempt to “win” what he craved most, the glorification that his brother Ezra received his whole life without having to lift a finger. However, Cody’s never ending desire for what he does not have proves to be more damaging than beneficial in his life. His lack of affection and ongoing resentment of others causes him to develop into a rather negative character that despises the home he has made for himself. The linkage between Cody’s cynical nature and his mother’s dissatisfaction becomes more and more apparent as Cody reaches adulthood and embarks on parenting his own son.
However, Pearl is not only individual at fault for the numerous troubles of her children’s lives. One must not forget about