Healing in Judith Guest's Ordinary People

Healing in Judith Guest's Ordinary People

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The Question of Healing in Ordinary People

 

How do you define healing? In the dictionary it says that to be healed you are cured, resolved, free from worry. But is that what everyone else thinks of healed as. In the novel Ordinary People, written by Judith Guest, Conrad Jarret goes from being a young boy to an adult within a year. He did not know what he was like himself, in the beginning of the story, then there were things that made him grow, and lastly did he heal?

 

At first Conrad did not know who he was or what his purpose was, when he came home form the hospital. Con had no sense of direction because at the hospital there was an everyday routine that he got used to. When he came home he made up his own routine in the beginning. He tried to go back to what every thing was like before his decsion. But he was unable to. He was trying to take one day at time. One thing was true though "Things were so different at the hospital. People were, you know, turned on all the time. And u just cannot live like that. You cannot live with all that emotion floating around, looking for a place to land. It is do exhausting (55, Guest)." This quote is trying to say that at the hospital people were like machines. The staff told them what to do, when to do it, and how to do it. Outside the hospital you get to make your own choices.

 

The things that made him change would be the relationships he had with his elders, Mom, Dad, and Berger his therapist. Con could always talk to him and also looked to him for good advice. Another person would be his girlfriend Jen. She made him open his eyes to see the world and opened his heart to feel. One more thing would be his music. Music made him feel accepted; he didn't have to care about any thing else when he was singing or playing his guitar. Berger even told con that, "People don not change on command for other people (121, Guest). Meaning that Con cannot change instantly when someone tells him to.

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He has to do the changing for him when he wants to.

 

In my opinion I think no one ever= heals. They will always remember what happened. So I think Conrad has done what he wanted to accomplish so far. If that is healing then so be it, but it never ends. For example as few times during the story a phrase is said or it is read somewhere; "Are you on the right road?" Honestly are you on the right road

 
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