Dealing With Loss In Judith Guest's Ordinary People

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The novel Ordinary People by Judith Guest is a story about a family dealing with loss. The story shows the Jarret family dealing with the loss of the eldest son, Buck. The younger son, Conrad, takes it the hardest. Beth and Calvin, the parents, also have to deal with grief as well. I think the loss of Buck is clearly more damaging to Conrad out of the family in his social life, health, and family life. Buck’s death made Conrad made him reevaluate his entire life. He withdrew himself from everyone, including friends and family which is a common traits according to Psych Guides. He really only opened up to Dr. Berger during their sessions. An example of him withdrawing is with Lazenby after the fight with Stillman. After a swim meet, Conrad overheard Stillman talking trash about Buck about how Conrad was brown nosing him. Conrad was already hiding anger for a…show more content…
He already lost a brother and that was already hard enough to cope with, let alone another close friend which he had very few of. Karen was a friend of Conrad in the hospital after his attempted suicide. They tried to keep in contact after both getting discharged but their only meet seemed to be brief and awkward. Conrad felt that it was a waste of time since Karen was focused on her school play rather than him. Conrad tried to contact her again but her parents blew him off. Later at his grandparents, Conrad in the newspaper, “nineteen-year-old Skokie girl...dead in her car early Saturday morning”(Guest 210). Conrad thought that Karen was in recovery for her depression. This sent Conrad into a spiral of despair and he didn’t know how to handle it. This loss added Buck’s loss was way too much for Conrad to handle. He was barely managing to handle it with Buck and now it proved too much. He went to Dr. Berger’s and broke down to the Doctor. Conrad says that he believes he killed Buck by letting him drown. Karen’s death triggered a relapse of Conrad’s survivor's
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