Conrad, The Star Swimmer Of The Household Essay

1109 Words May 11th, 2016 5 Pages
In Ordinary People, the simple Jarrett family sits at a dinner table, perfectly mirroring the so-called “ classic American family.” Financially well-off with plenty of friends, it would appear to any unknowing outsider that their life was a smooth ride. The mother, Beth, seems jovial and friendly, going out day by day with a smile gracing her face. Calvin, the father, provides the family its wealth in a placid and calm demeanor. Lastly is Conrad, the star swimmer of the household. But one person is missing: their first son, Buck, who had been killed in a boating accident. After his death, problems, anger, and resentment begin to fester while a happy facade covers their dysfunctionality. Each family member deals with their suffering differently, resorting to either silence or violence as their household slowly succumbs to the various conflicts it generates.
Conrad, the troubled and depressed son suffering from survivor’s guilt, demonstrates an incredible amount of silence in the form of masking. The earliest example of this is when his father, Calvin, asks if he slept well at breakfast. He smiles and tells his father that he did, despite having had multiple nightmares that evening. However, this fatal move splits a valuable rope of communication that could potentially relieved his internal pain. Fear had entered this conversation, causing Conrad to turn to silence. Had he refused silence, both Calvin and Conrad would have benefitted from the conversation that would ensue.…

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