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Anne Tyler has said that she uses the family unit to show how people manage to endure togetherhow they grate against each other adjust intrude and protect themselves from intrusions give up and start all over again in the morning Applebee et al 1007 From this quote a reader can assume that Tyler encourages perseverance and courage Life all too often presents challenges but it is how you handle those challenges that matters Throughout many of her fictional works characters are placed in unsettling conditions that take a toll on their lives as a whole usually in a negative way These unhappy characters seek escape from familial relationships marriages and friendships in order to pursue a fantasy leading to a better personal lifeQuite often while reading Anne Tylers fiction the reader is introduced to characters involved in tremulous relationships within the home Many of the domestic interactions appear to be ridden with tumultuous and agitated feelings that fall along the brink of disaster Once this occurs the characters find escape from their situations in pursuit of a better personal life One such character is Samuel Grinstead who appears in Ladder of Years Sam comes from a very tightly reigned family where the decisions even those concerning his future are primarily made by the parents It is not as if they do not have good intentions but they feel that the goals they have set for him should be the only ones he pursues Sams parents feel that if he attends law school he will attain the ideal life that they have planned for him Sam has no such intentions instead he goes against his parents original intent and applies to medical school He thus leaves home and upon finishing school moves to Roland Park where he joins a family practice It is there that he meets his wife Delia and raises his family Sam finds contentment in his decisions and does fulfill his dreams of
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