Identity In The Film 'Ordinary People'

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From the way we see ourselves versus how others see us defines who we are and creates our identity. In the film “Ordinary People”, each character molds into a different image of themselves after the loss of Buck, one of the sons out of the upper class family of four. Buck stabilized the family and the absence of him affects each member of the family in his or her own way. Misery, guilt, love, incapability to love, and anger are all revealed outside of the cookie cutter house as each character attempts to escape from the black hole they feel isolated in. Beth Jarrett, the mother, denies her brokenness and fabricates her smile to achieve the upper class role her mother imprinted on her as a child. Conrad, the other son, lavishes himself in self-guilt, blaming himself for the loss of his brother. He tries to re-establish his bruised soul but inflicts punishment before he allows himself to move on. Balancing the two broken identities, Calvin, the father, finds himself lost in Beth’s materialistic, expressionless world while trying to view the opposite …show more content…

Forgiveness becomes more vibrant in each of the characters as the mood around them evokes a sense of change. Conrad is starting to feel true happiness as he lands his first date with Jeannine but still endures pain. On the other hand, Calvin’s vision of his life is unrevealed as he unleashes his self- guilt to Berger. He tells Berger that he feels responsible for Conrad’s downfall and seeks to try to understand where his wife, Beth, is coming from. From the downward glance, Calvin’s love for Buck is complicated because Buck had a special relationship with Beth that he never experienced and will never be able to due to her brokenness and loss of identity. In this moment, Calvin is realizing his cliché family is nothing in the absence of

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