Anne Tyler's Treatment of Managing Women

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Among the most important characters in contemporary writer Anne Tyler's nine novels of modern American life are her skillfully-drawn managing women who choose the family circle as the arena in which to use their skills and exert their influence. Strong, competent, independent, capable of caring for themselves, their husbands, their children, and others, too, as well as holding outside jobs, these women are the linchpins of their families. Among their most outstanding qualities are their abilities to endure hardships with heads high and skills unhampered. Within this broad category of managing women, Tyler clearly delineates two types of managers: the ... continued below

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iii, 388 leaves

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Brock, Dorothy Faye Sala August 1985.

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  • Brock, Dorothy Faye Sala

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Description

Among the most important characters in contemporary writer Anne Tyler's nine novels of modern American life are her skillfully-drawn managing women who choose the family circle as the arena in which to use their skills and exert their influence. Strong, competent, independent, capable of caring for themselves, their husbands, their children, and others, too, as well as holding outside jobs, these women are the linchpins of their families. Among their most outstanding qualities are their abilities to endure hardships with heads high and skills unhampered. Within this broad category of managing women, Tyler clearly delineates two types of managers: the regenerative managing woman and the rigid managing woman. A major character in every novel, the regenerative managing woman not only endures, she also adapts. The key to her development and her strength is her capacity for trying again, renewing herself, and her family relationships. The evolution of a vital regenerative woman from a lonely childhood through the beginning of her vibrant womanhood is a key element in every Tyler novel. This development always includes an escape from her original family? an attempt to establish her own family; at least one major hardship that often sends her reeling home; and finally, at least one new start toward establishing her ideal family circle. Tyler's treatment of the regenerative managing woman in the first four novels concentrates on her young womanhood and her early establishment of her family. The later novels begin when the regenerative managing woman is in her thirties or forties and concentrate primarily on the ways the regenerative woman manages her family. Many of Tyler's novels also feature a rigid managing woman. While this character type manages with strength and competence, she is not a positive influence on her family. She endures. But she does not adapt. Too proud to admit her mistakes, or too selfish to notice them, she does not learn; thus, she does not change. Consequently, she stifles her own growth, as well as that of her family, even though she is not totally devoid of good qualities.

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iii, 388 leaves

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  • August 1985

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  • Aug. 22, 2014, 6 p.m.

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  • Dec. 4, 2017, 3:52 p.m.

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Brock, Dorothy Faye Sala. Anne Tyler's Treatment of Managing Women, dissertation, August 1985; Denton, Texas. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc330992/: accessed July 21, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .