Undeveloped Characters

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorHigh School, 10th grade August 2001

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Undeveloped Characters By: Julia Spatafora One doesn't have a choice as to the family to which they are born or the environment in which they grow up. Sadly, some families exist where parents are not concerned with their children's needs and in turn, the children are denied the nurturing they need to grow and develop in healthy surroundings. In Anne Tyler's novel Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant Cody, Ezra and Jenny Tull suffered from hurt, neglect and rejection as children. Their father, Beck, deserted them when they were still young leaving their mother Pearl preoccupied, angry and distressed with paying the bills and raising the children. As a result, their desolate childhoods did not provide them with the encouragement and direction they needed to develop strong characters. The lack of character development in Cody, Ezra and Jenny is evident through the tormented feelings and events of the past that remain unresolved and their inability to form solid relationships.

Overall, they are left with the constant feeling that their family situation has caused them to miss out in life. Hope of change is not seen until the end of the novel when they finally make an honest effort to share a meal.

Cody, Ezra and Jenny all hung on to emotionally difficult memories and feelings from their pasts that prevented their personal and psychological characteristics from developing. Cody carried resentment towards both his mother and father. His resentment towards his mother stemmed from her violent rages where she hurt and threatened him and his siblings. Even after Pearl passed on, Cody described her as "a raving, shrieking, unpredictable witch"¦she slammed us against the wall and called us scum and vipers"¦"(Tyler 294). Cody never forgave or forgot his mother's temper and never resolved the feelings he had towards her. Instead...