Essay PreviewMore ↓
Foolish Pride in Ordinary People
In the book Ordinary People, the author Judith Guest portrays a "normal" family, living in Lake Forest, struggling with many problems on the inside, but trying their best to hide their feelings. This book explores the need for everyone to act normal, and ordinary, and even though everyone in the book had a huge problem eating them from the inside, they didn't want anyone to know something was wrong.
Many characters in the book hid from their problems. By the end of the book most of them managed to get better, but some of them were gone for good. In the book, Conrad struggled with perfection. He tried to be the obedient son, the good student, and eventually everything got to him so much, he felt the only way to escape was to try and kill himself. "An obedient boy. Polite, well mannered. Even in the hospital, with his fingernails bitten to bloody half-moons, the dark circles, bloody bruises under his eyes; always always his behavior was proper" (13). Conrad was strung too tight, fortunately by the end of the book he learned to relax, and not to stress too much about everything. Unfortunately this wasn't true for all the characters.
Everyone viewed Conrad's mother, Beth, as perfect. Beth always had to have everything organized, neat. She had to be in control. Everything about her on the outside seems perfect. "Gracious as always, but Cal knows she doesn't like this. She is wearing a white-knit pantsuit, a long-sleeved black blouse, her hair tied back from her face with a black scarf. She does look gorgeous" (64). After her first son Buck died, and her second son Conrad tried to kill himself, she starts to realize that her family is falling apart, but she can't help them. Beth is all about appearance, how she and her family seem to other people. She can't handle talking about major problems, even when they involve the people she loves.
Calvin, Conrad's father tries to be helpful to everyone. He is very caring to his son, and tries very hard with his wife Beth. It seems that Cal gives himself away to everyone, making sure his family is ok, but never worried about himself.
How to Cite this Page
"Foolish Pride in Judith Guest's Ordinary People." 123HelpMe.com. 25 Jan 2020
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- Striving for Emotional Perfection in Ordinary People Throughout the life cycle, a person undergoes many changes. One matures both physically and emotionally as time passes. Emotional growth is quite often more difficult than physical growth. A person must realize his faults and admit to them before he can develop emotionally, while one does not need any self-analyzation to develop physically. In her book Ordinary People, Judith Guest depicts the struggles man must experience in order to reach his ideal emotional perfection. Conrad, the book's protagonist, and his father Calvin, were both searching for higher levels of emotional health.... [tags: Ordinary People]
1856 words (5.3 pages)
- 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.... [tags: Judith Guest Ordinary People Essays]
461 words (1.3 pages)
- Ordinary Control Freaks in Ordinary People The Most interesting form of Literature is American Literature. Usually dealing with a struggle that must be overcome, American literature deals with real-life situations which one can empathize with. One of the most interesting novels written by an American author is Ordinary People, by Judith Guest. Ordinary People tells the story of an ordinary family struggling to cope with the loss of a family member following a boating accident. Brilliantly written, the novel consists of two narrators- Conrad, the Jarrett family's only son left after the boating accident, and Calvin, Conrad's father.... [tags: Judith Guest Ordinary People Essays]
1200 words (3.4 pages)
- The Extraordinary Family in Judith Guest's novel, Ordinary People Judith Guest's novel Ordinary People evinces some main principles of the modernist literary movement, such as the philosophy that modern man is beset by existential angst and alienation. According to Carl Marx, a renowned existentialist, alienation, as a result of the industrial revolution, has made modern man alienated from the product of his own labor, and has made him into a mechanical component in the system. Being a "cog in the wheel" prevents modern man from gaining a sense of internal satisfaction of intellectual and emotional pleasure.... [tags: Judith Guest Ordinary People Essays]
2200 words (6.3 pages)
- The Ironic Title of Ordinary People The significance of the title "Ordinary People" is that it is ironic because there are not ordinary people in the book. It does not correspond with the novel itself. As defined in Webster's Dictionary, ordinary means usual, common, or normal. To most people, this is what they think they are. However, in the book being unordinary is common for most of the characters. The author of this book, Judith Guest, probably titled this book "Ordinary People" to make readers ask themselves, "What is ordinary.... [tags: Judith Guest Ordinary People Essays]
656 words (1.9 pages)
- Search for Identity in Ordinary People When we are young, we live life by the day. In our preteen and teenage years, the process of self discovery begins. For some people, this could take years. For others, it could happen within a week. No matter how people discover themselves, who they really are, and what they stand behind, everybody goes through it. Especially the characters in the book Ordinary People by Judith Guest. As they struggle through death, guilt, and a lack of understanding; Calvin, Beth and Conrad eventually discover their true identities.... [tags: Judith Guest Ordinary People Essays]
1354 words (3.9 pages)
- Ordinary Feelings in Ordinary People Ordinary People is a book that examines the life of a typical American family that seems to have it all together. It exposes the major conflicts among them; pain, misunderstanding, hurt, forgiveness, and ultimately if possible healing. Conrad - with the story told mostly through his perspective, he being the one furthering the resulting course of events and at the same time the protagonist and antagonist . is the main character of the story. While boating on a lake with his older brother, a fierce gale picks up capsizing their boat and eventually leading to the death of his brother when he drowns.... [tags: Judith Guest Ordinary People Essays]
564 words (1.6 pages)
- The book I chose for my report is titled “Ordinary People” and was written by author, Judith Guest. Viking Penguin Incorporated first published the book in the United States in the year 1976. Also in the year 1976, the Macmillan Company of Canada Limited published it for the first time in Canada. The book has 259 pages and 31 chapters and is placed under the juvenile fiction genre. “Ordinary People” is a book about a seventeen-year-old boy named Conrad Jarrett coming home from a mental institution for the first time in eight months.... [tags: Literature Review]
716 words (2 pages)
- ... This demonstrated that Karen was unwilling to receive help; since she had no one to lean on she decided to end her life. Conrad did not give up like Karen did because he got the social support he needed to cope with his grief. The decision Conrad made of continuing to see Dr. Berger was a very smart step because a lot of people like Karen give up, but he kept trying. This helped him avoid extreme measures and was a sign that he was starting to find his identity. Equally important, when Conrad went to Dr.... [tags: Judith Guest, novel analysis]
1077 words (3.1 pages)
- There are many themes that occur and can be interpreted differently throughout the novel. The three main themes that stand out most are healing, communication, and relationships. Ordinary People starts off already in a broken world. Buck has died, and Conrad has already attempted suicide, therefore, healing is a main focus throughout the book. Beth and Calvin’s marriage is also very rocky and they together are trying to see if things will work out by healing and saving their relationship. Judith Guest shows the journey through Conrad’s life and his progress to becoming completely healed.... [tags: essays research papers]
427 words (1.2 pages)
- Use of Foreshadowing in John Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men
- Comparing West Side Story and The Outsiders
- Encryption - Regulation of Devices That Code Messages is Not Necessary
- Comparing Machiavelli's Prince and Martha Stuart
- The Deceitful George in John Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men
- Compare Nuclear Fusion vs. Nuclear Fission
All of these main characters in the book had many problems they had to deal with, and struggled with trying to look ordinary to the world. To make sure no one knew anything was wrong. The energy they put into pretending everything was fine was more than necessary. Since society decides what's normal and ordinary, and every person in society has problems, hiding from everyone, not talking about what's going on isn't right. If people dropped their masks and unveiled their true feelings, it will make everyone feel better. Everyone can lead stronger fuller lives, and that can be the new ordinary.