“Teenage Wasteland” Tyler identifies the Conflict through story and song.
Anne Tyler’s Teenage Wasteland, is a contemplative story about what could happen if you lose control over your family. Ms. Tyler is “considered a southern writer”. (Featured…) With these ongoing family tragedies and disappointments in the forefront, Ms. Tyler shows that this family is no exception to her creative characters in turmoil. This title, Teenage Wasteland by Anne Tyler is similar to the teenage rebellion song of the same name by The Who. Donnie wants to be independent and make choices on his own he feels that his parents are too busy. The lyrics of the Who’s song “fight for my meals…I don’t need to fight to prove I’m right” are the personifications of self-righteousness of modern day teenagers. The family members that she creates suffer tragedies and disappointment mostly of their own accord. This story is no exception. Daisy, the main character, loves her fifteen year old son, Donnie. Daisy wants to understand the emotions that Donnie is going through but neither her or her husband is involved enough in Donnie’s life to empathize with the conflicting pressures he is experiencing from his peers and his teachers. Daisy makes the mistake in assigning the discipline of Donnie to his tutor, Cal. Donnie, who is lazy about his schoolwork and is in desperate need of parental support and discipline, He allows himself to be influenced by Cal. Cal sets a bad example for Donnie by blaming both Donnie’s parents and the school authorities for Donnie’s difficulties. In doing this, Cal gives Donnie the unfortunate message that he doesn’t need to be responsible for himself.