Ordinary People by Judith Guest is a very emotional book that deals with many thoughts and actions about life and suicide.A lot of people would have different opinions or perspectives about this story.My thesis question for this book is: Does the author Judith Guest try to prove that even the perfect family can fall apart?In this novel, regular or "ordinary people" have to learn to cope with many extraordinary crises.
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In Ordinary People, Conrad Jarrett is a seventeen year old boy attending a public high school in the suburbs of Illinois.He and his family go through many stressful struggles after Conrad's brother Jordan dies in a boating accident.Jordan's death influences Conrad so much that he even cuts up his wrists and tries to commit suicide but he does not die. Conrad struggles with a lot of things including school, quitting the swimming team, and his friends.Conrad's mother Beth, is a perfectionist and is always concerned about the way people view her and her family.She wishes for everyone to see them as "normal".Conrad's Dad Cal feels he is somewhat responsible for Conrad's suicide attempt.He also believes that Conrad and Beth are drifting away from each other and he doesn't know who to follow.The story ends when Beth leaves home to go away for a while because she can't get along with her family.
In this book, the title does give a clue about a possible theme.The term "ordinary people" is mentioned several times in this book.There can be many different themes for this book although my theme did not come from the title.My theme is: even a perfect family can fall apart and sometimes fall into a mental stress, due to a life changing event.I think this because everything is perfect before Jordan dies.Everything and everyone seems to fall apart after his accident….