Daisy's Disappearance In Teenage Wasteland By Anne Tyler

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In Anne Tyler’s short story, Teenage Wasteland, a teenage boy named Donny struggles in school. His teachers and family feel they try everything they can, even hiring a tutor, but within a year Donny simply disappears. Daisy, his mother, tries to find a scapegoat for her son’s downfall, but ends up placing most of the blame on herself. While Daisy certainly played a role in her son’s demise, not one single character is to blame for Donny’s eventual disappearance – they all played a part.
As the parent with the most direct involvement with her two children, Daisy does hold some responsibility for her son’s disappearance. When the principal at Donny’s high school calls her and requests a meeting, Daisy feels as though she is the one being reprimanded rather than her teenage son. Defensively, she tells the principal Mr. Lanham, “It isn’t that we’re not concerned… we’ve done what we could, whatever we could think of… How are we to know what to believe?” In these lines, Daisy begins to show just how suggestible she is. Like many parents when their children begin to misbehave, Daisy does not know where to begin, but she is completely willing to throw money at the problem in the hopes it will help. At the recommendation of a psychologist who told her Donny was …show more content…

In fact, Matt was absent from the first meeting with the principal Mr. Lanham, and was surprised to hear from Daisy about how terrible his son’s work was. Though it’s clear Matt is concerned for his son as well, he not only has no ideas but is either unable or possibly unwilling to seek expert advice – he leaves the child-rearing to Daisy. In many households, discipline is seen as the father’s job. However, Donny is not punished for his poor behavior, and when he curses at the idea of having a tutor, Matt told him only to “watch his language in front of his

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