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Ordinary People Essay

943 words - 4 pages

Ordinary PeopleOrdinary People was about a family, the Jarrett family, who consisted of three, two parents and a son, Conrad, but the family used to consist of four, another son, Buck. The parents enjoyed each other, they were cultured, and they liked going out and being sociable. Their son Conrad just got out of the hospital for trying to kill himself and depression. We find out later in the movie/book that he has done all of this to himself because he thinks it is his fault for the death of his brother. Conrad and his older brother, Buck, were on the swim team at school. Both were good swimmers but Buck drowned one day while they were out together. Conrad felt like there was more that he could have done to save him. Conrad began to see a psychiatrist to get him to realize certain things and to get down to the bottom of his feelings. After many sessions, Conrad and Dr. Berger, the psychiatrist, developed a relationship. Dr. Berger brings things out of Conrad that he was never able to talk about. He tries to start living a normal life, but it is kind of difficult.Conrad has a reasonable relationship with his father. They talk, his dad checks on him and frequently asks him how he's feeling. Conrad and his mother's relationship are almost non-existent. She seems as if she is in denial or doesn't want to face her son's death. Her and Conrad hardly have any words. When they do talk, she is either giving an order, suggesting he do something or something very general. She doesn't ask him how he's doing or anything. The father is sort of the "between" person for Conrad and his mother. Beth (the mother) asks Calvin (the father) about Conrad and Conrad talks to his dad about her. As Conrad continues to go see Dr. Berger, he gets back to normal, but as this happens, the two parents drift apart and she eventually ends up leaving or goes away for a while.Within Ordinary People, I recognize a couple of theories that we have discussed in class. The Expectancy Violation Theory says that violating another person's interaction expectations can be a superior strategy to conformity. In other words, this means that when somebody does something that no one expects them to do, their credibility changes, they are looked at differently. When Conrad quit the swim team, no one expected him to, especially the swim coach, Salan. (82-83). Dr Berger and Conrad discussed this in their session and Connie came to the conclusion that he doesn't want to swim anymore (last paragraph on pg 78), and this is maybe why he feels that his schedule is too heavy. When Conrad's parent's find out, they don't expect him to do it either. Now, Conrad's swimming friends treat him different, sort of like an outcast...

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