Ordinary People

    Ordinary people is about an ordinary family the Jarrett’s who seem on the surface to be a typical middle class family set in the suburbs of Illinois in the late 1970’s. The story begins in the gloomy part of December and appears to end the following spring. It appears the significance of the seasons is how December, representing a dreary lifeless mood, at least for the northwest region, symbolizes death. During this time, Conrad the youngest son experiences many confrontations in his life. He has recently witnessed the death of his brother and is struggling to make his appearance seem “normal”. When the weather begins to get warmer, setting a more renewed atmosphere, Conrad Jarrett, the protagonist, is a seventeen-year-old student attending a public high school. Conrad represents more of a heroic figure in this story because he has begun to overcome the overwhelming obstacles of his life. Conrad is a complex individual who feels that love gives one the strength to endure life. However, Conrad must struggle to cope with the drastic changes occurring in his life. His struggle against these obstacles is the antagonist in the story (Guest, J. 1982).
    Conrad is extremely complex, has low self-esteem, his grades in school are suffering, he’s depressed, has suicidal thoughts and trouble interacting with other people. The loss of his brother Buck has brought Conrad to a point in his life where his depression and low self-esteem, have taken a toll which has eventually collapsed his academic achievements in school. His social attitudes towards society are weak and are evident since his moods are always aimed toward isolated environments and loneliness. Conrad wants to be in his own world and not let others in for fear they would not love him or understand him. He continuously struggles to cope with drastic changes occurring in his life. He wants to please everyone but at the same time will not allow himself to feel or express emotion for fear of rejection....