The Accidental Tourist by Anne Tyler at first glance depicts the struggle between two people to find happiness together, but in actuality it shows the struggles a man faces with himself to find happiness in his own life. Tyler presents a character, Macon Leary, satisfied with just going through life unchanged. Eliminating all the luxuries of life Macon feels he will find happiness by going through a scheduled routine everyday.
Struggling to accomplish anything on his own, Macon returns to his childhood home to further simplify his life. Hoping to find comfort with his siblings, Macon enters into their life of order and isolation from the world. The regular routines he now possesses still can't bring the happiness he so dearly desires. Unable to find happiness in his regular routine, Macon's biggest fear, a change, is ultimately what brings happiness to his life.
Macon tries to simplify life so that he can go through it without any changes or adjustments being made. His job reflects his very nature to the tee. Macon is a 'travel writer for people who hate to travel' (Sheppard 78). Trying to make his readers feel at home away from home, Macon tells a traveler ?how to see as little of a city as possible? (Prescott 92). The book even tells where to find American restaurants in order to stay away from the change one would have to go through to eat foreign food. Incidentally, Macon often shortens his itinerary so that he can get home and back to the regular routine.
At home Macon follows a method of systems to organize his life. Living alone, he now puts all his ideas he had to simplify his life t...
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...outine is unable to do. Living a life of isolation and self-absorption finally catches up to him. A complete change in lifestyle is the only thing that can save Macon and finally he realizes it. Everyone loves to have a normal routine to follow, but sometimes a complete and utter change is the best solution to one?s problems.
Gilbert, Susan. ?Anne Tyler.? Southern Women?s Writers: The New Generations. Ed Tonette Bond Inge. Tuscaloosa: U of Alabama P, 1990: 272-73.
Prescott, Peter C. ?Watching Life Go By.? Newsweek 9 Sep. 1985: 92.
Sheppard, R.Z. ?Innocent with an Explanation.? Time 16 Sep. 1985: 78.
Tyler, Anne. The Accidental Tourist. New York: Berkeley, 1985.
Updike, John. ?Leaving Home.? The New Yorker 28 Oct. 1985: 106-12.
Wiehe, Janet. ?The Accidental Tourist.? Library Journal 15 Sep. 1985: 96.
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