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Dickey 1 Erica Dickey Mr.

Knox English 12 AP March 12, 2014 The Mediator You think we're a family, Cody said, turning back. You think we're some jolly, situation-comedy family when we're in particles, torn apart, torn all over the place, and our mother was a witch(Tyler 125). Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant, by Anne Tyler, is a novel about a familys struggle throughout life. Ezra is his mothers favorite child when compared to his brother, Cody and sister, Jenny. He runs an original, home-style restaurant in inner-city Baltimore, dwells in the house he grew up in, ceaselessly imagines a world of affection freely exchanged, and regularly schedules splendid family dinner reunions at his restaurant that never begin or end well. In the novel, Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant, Ezra is the glue that helps the Tull family stay together and survive, and his peacemaking skills and Pearl ultimately hold him back in life. The Tull family would not have been able to survive without Ezra, the glue and foundation of the family. After the man of the house, Beck Tull, leaves his family, Pearl is devastated and the children suffer; Ezra has to step in to keep the family together. Pearl has to get a job in order to take care of her house and kids, but she became a bitter person. Oh, she'd been an angry sort of mother. She'd been continually on edge; she'd felt too burdened, too much alone. After Beck left, she'd been so preoccupied with paying the rent and juggling the budget (Tyler 18). This struggling causes the family to have to be apart for much of the time. When the children grow older, the family has a very hard time of staying together or getting together at all.

Dickey 2 Jenny goes to school, gets a job and a husband, and has kids. Cody goes to school, and gets a job and a wife, that he steals from Ezra. Ezra joins the Army, and then comes home and takes care of Pearl, after being discharged for sleepwalking. A reoccurring scene in the novel involves Ezras unsuccessful attempts to bring his family back together for a meal at his Homesick Restaurant, reflecting his desire to unite and mend the family. Hadnt Ezra noticed (Cody wondered) that the family as a whole had never yet finished one of his dinners? That theyd fight and stamp off halfway through, or sometimes not even manage to get seated in the first place (Tyler 154)? These many failed attempts never seemed to stop Ezra from trying to get the family together again. In fact, they probably saw more of each other than happy families did. It was almost as if what they couldnt get right, they had to keep returning to. (So if they ever did finish a dinner, would they rise and say goodbye forever after) (Tyler 155)? In the last chapter, the family finally gets together for a dinner at the Homesick Restaurant, although Beck doesnt leave on good terms, but the family does finish a meal together. Unfortunately Pearl has already passed away when the family finally finishes a meal. The need for Ezras peacemaking skills ultimately holds him back in life. After being beat up by the neighborhood bully, Cody tells Ezra to stand up for himself, but Ezra replies with, Im trying to get through life as a liquid (Tyler 166), meaning that he just wants to let thing go without being a rock and stubborn like Cody. Even when his brother somehow steals his fiance away from him Ezra does not hold any grudges against him. Cody and Ruth tell Ezra they are dating abruptly, Ezra, we surely never planned on this. We never had the least intention, not me or Cody neither one (Tyler 163). Then they swiftly make their way out the door, leaving Ezra puzzled as to what actually just occurred. Ezra never recovers from losing the love of his life, and remains at home with Pearl; he is a caregiver, both for Pearl and his

Dickey 3 customers, but this is underlain by sadness. Ezra ends up being middle-aged and unmarried at the end of the novel, constantly trying to keep his family afloat. His only goal is for his family to finally finish a meal at his restaurant together. Compared to his siblings Ezra does not seem as accomplished, Cody is a prosperous business man and Jenny is going to be a doctor. Ezra is Pearls favorite child, and this seems to make him want her to love him even more and he feels the need to try and impress her. As children it was obvious that Ezra was the favorite. Even after shooting his own mother with a bow and arrow, Pearl is mad at Cody and not Ezra. Overall, Ezra is held back by his familys need for his mediation abilities, but without Ezras peacemaking, his family would have crumbled. Ezra keeps the family a whole throughout this novel, even when Beck leaves them and Pearl passes away. All that Ezra ever wanted was for his family to finish an entire meal at his restaurant without having an argument, and in the end, to some extent, he gets his wish. His restaurant creates a symbol of togetherness; continuously bringing the Tull family together.