Ordinary People Beth Jarret Character Analysis

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In the novel Ordinary People by Judith Guest, Beth Jarret may come across as the antagonist. She has a side to her that makes the reader want to dislike her, but as the story unfolds the reader then gets a deeper understanding. Beth’s reactions to situations could have maybe been better, but every person handles tragic events in different ways. Her cold shell hides the fact that events from the past scare her into feeling like an outcast. Any reader could tell that Beth’s character was strong, maybe cold, but definity strong. Beth Jarret is physically beautiful and angelic in a way. Calvin has no trouble stating this straight off in the beginning of the novel. “So beautiful in every detail that men and women both like to look at her.” (pg.…show more content…
She had to go through events that not many people would ever imagine going through. She had no preparation for it so how could she be pressured into acting the “right” way. When people go through a tragic event it is not uncommon for them to hold it in so others can’t see. Beth looked like the “bad guy” only because she was paired up next to Calvin who went the opposite way of acting. When Calvin starts acting clingy to Conrad it makes Beth’s ignorance to the situation seem like the worst possible thing. “She looks tired; her face set, her mind occupied elsewhere.” (pg. 127) When Calvin points out that her mind is elsewhere the reader could see that she was mentally fighting herself in every situation that came up. She looked tired of course because people aren’t suppose to go through that much sadness and anger in a short period of time.
Just imagine the stress that she had to go through. It would drive any person insane. To tell someone to just let it go is impossibly naive. Beth Jarret was a strong character all the way to the end. Her choice to leave must have been difficult on her, but it takes courage to leave. Some may say that it was fear that drove her away, but she had the strength to make the decision. Her fear and stress was leading her to become a person she did not want to be. She was maybe rude at times, and she was mad. Although Beth Jarret, in my eyes, was a real
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