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Individualism and Belonging to the Family Anne Tylers novels The Accidental Tourist and Searching for Caleb are concerned with the family and individualism In the Accidental Tourist each character undergoes a transformation between individualism and belonging to his family Individualism means isolation while family means belonging Searching for Caleb shows how rules can govern the family However in Tylers Breathing Lessons two characters are isolated in their own way but find a way to renew their marriage Macon Leary the main character in The Accidental Tourist goes back and forth between his family and individualism When his wife left him after a crazed murderer killed their son Macon was isolated in his own house with his daily routine Physical contact with people not related to him made him draw inward like a snail 34 Therefore he eventually moved in with his sister and brothers to be a part of the family again Furthermore there is a portrait of the Leary children at the Leary household This portrait symbolizes the security that Macon feels now that he has moved back into the unchanging past Reisman 1980 Then Macon met a woman Muriel and he felt content with everything exactly the way it was He seemed to be suspended his life on hold 161 With Muriel he was isolated from his family He is an individual who does not need family to rule his life However Macon finally returns to his wife and family He returns because of his desire for attachment to his sister and brothers who live in a tight family unit Magills 1976 Several other characters in The Accidental Tourist move back and forth between individuality and the family Rose Leary Macons sister fell in love with Julian Macons boss who wants to take Rose away from what seems to be a dull life with her family
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