Comparing The Characters Of Conrad, Beth, And Calvin In Ordinary People

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In Ordinary People by Judith Guest, we have 3 main characters Conrad, Beth, and Calvin. Conrad is the protagonist, Beth is Conrad's mother, and Calvin is Conrad's Father. They all have different personalities which I feel like I can relate to. Conrad is anti-social, is dealing with some type of depression, and sometimes he has outbursts of anger. Calvin tends to blame himself for everything, he worries too much, and can be overprotective. Beth doesn’t let herself feel, she is a perfectionist, and cares about what people will think. I feel like I relate to Conrad in the depression part. Recently my parents got a divorce and that was hard for me, I started to feel depressed and it was hard to get up every morning and keep going knowing that every …show more content…

I do that a lot, in order to be in good terms with people or just because I actually feel like something is my fault even though it isn't. When I get into an argument with my mom even though she is wrong I always say sorry instead and take the blame. Calvin shows this by blaming himself for the death of Buck he feels like he wasn't there enough he goes to say "I'm not even talking about blame, I'm talking about being available" (4). I also relate with Calvin with how much he worries. He worries a lot about Conrad “If it was up to [Calvin], he would give [Conrad] everything—sun and moon, eternal happiness, serene and uncomplicated…(11). That is how I am, always worrying about friends and family. Like if my friends go out and I know they are doing things they should not be doing I worry and stress myself out. Calvin also is very overprotective and that is how I am. If I can prevent my sisters or friends from doing harmful things or getting their feelings hurt, I will. Like when Calvin and Conrad are talking about how Beth hates Conrad and Calvin says “That's ridiculous. Your mother does not hate you—"(13). It is pretty hard to proof that when Beth is so cold towards Conrad, of course, Calvin is not going to let Conrad think otherwise or else that would hurt him more than it already does. These are the way I relate to Calvin …show more content…

The traits that I share with her are not ones that I am too proud of. Throughout the story, we hear a lot about how Beth has no feelings and how she does not let herself feel anything. In a way, I can relate with that when I need to and when I feel like the situation will hurt me really bad I try not to let myself feel, in a way, I am scared of how it could affect me and make me think. Calvin says “Maybe she's afraid, maybe it's hard for her to give love." (14) He is talking about Beth to Conrad explaining to him the way that she “loves”. In all honesty, I do not think Beth can love Conrad completely if she does not stop blaming him for the death of Buck, even though it was not Conrads fault. I relate with Beth in the fact that she tries to be a perfectionist, I do not see being a perfectionist as a bad thing. I try to be a perfectionist when I am drawing or painting (projects in general). Beth tried to be a perfectionist when it came to everything “She was perfect. The perfect wife, the perfect mother, the perfect hostess” (29). That does not seem like a bad trait it depends on how people see it. The last thing I relate with Beth is caring about what other people think. At a point in the story she is having a conversation with Conrad and she tells him “...you let her drag that stuff out of you, and in front of someone who doesn't even know us” (3).

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