Dinner At Homesick Restaurant Essay, Research Paper
In the Hands of Fate
As the supposed force, principle, or power that predetermines events, fate has an overwhelming control over people. Even though everything has been assigned, has been preordained; [and] everyone must play his role, nothing has been set in stone (185). In a way, fate is like a maui mixer smoothie. No matter which way the strawberries, pineapples, orange sherbet, ice, and guava juice are thrown in the blender, it still ends up being the same smoothie. Same goes with a person s fate. The final destination has already been chosen, but the path paving the way is still up in the air. In her novel Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant, Anne Tyler portrays a character who shuts herself away from society, gives up on her life, and is a bad mother simply because she believes that it s fate and her life is destined to be that way.
Pearl Tull is a strong-willed, independent woman. She believes she doesn t need anyone else and that her family is enough. When the neighbors showed up, people she knew more closely, she felt she way dying inside but she didn t lose her composure (15). Pearl puts on a fa ade of toughness for everyone else to see which isolates her from the rest of society. But by doing that, she is only hurting herself. Everyone needs a person to confide in and to vent emotions to. It s only human. Her attitude also puts a strain on the relationship between herself and her children. What he wouldn t give to have a mother who acted like other mothers He wished she had some outside connection, something beyond that suffocating house (59). Pearl doesn t really interact with the outside world, and Cody wishes she did. It s frustrating for him to see her mother so different from every other mother. Every child wants to have a normal family, but Cody obviously doesn t. Even though Pearl tries to convince herself that nobody really matters to her but her children, they aren t even that important to her otherwise she would have been a better mother.
Fate is already predetermined but that doesn t mean a person can t live it the way they want. Each person is given choices, but Pearl Tull opts not to take them. She gives up on trying to change her life and lives it the way it is handed to her. From infancy, [Cody] had batted her away; and [Jenny] had been so evasive, somehow; so whom did that leave but Ezra? Ezra was all she had. He was the only one who would let her in (171). Because she believes that fate has really only given her Ezra, she favors him the most and that is absolutely apparent. This hurts Cody the most because he is also her son, yet she doesn t pay much attention to him. Since Ezra is Pearl s perfect son, what else can Cody do but be the complete opposite to get some attention from his mother? Certainly she never intended to foster one of those good son/bad son arrangements, but what can you do when one son is consistently good and the other consistently bad? (185). She never intended it, but it happened. Parents aren t supposed to choose favorites; they are supposed to love each of their children equally and whole-heartedly. If they don t, then bitterness and resentment will most certainly arise from the children. It does and Pearl knows it, yet she does nothing to fix it. Pearl s predetermined life is going to be miserable, so she lets it continue on to her children as well.
Pearl knows that her family has failed and there is no one to accept the blame for this but Pearl [but] she sometimes has the feeling that it s simply fate, and not a matter for blame at all (185). Fate may have destined Pearl to not have a good relationship between her children, but being an unfit mother is her own doing. Circumstance does not force her to abuse her children when she is on a warpath nor does it force her to scream I wish you d all die, and let me go free. I wish I d find you dead in your beds at her children (53). It is because of her own self. No halfway decent mother would ever do those things to her own children, no matter how frustrated they are. Her unpredictable mood swings leave her children walking on eggshells when they are around her and that isn t anybody s or anything s fault but her own.
Pearl has had many opportunities in her eighty-some-odd years of life. Choosing a different path in her long journey towards her final destination might have single-handedly altered her life greatly, but instead, she walks along the same worn road throughout the years. Since her life is going to be miserable anyway, she does nothing to bolster up her life to make it somewhat worthwhile. As a result, Pearl lives a cold and dreary life because she left it all in the hands of fate.