The Themes Of Alienation In Judith Guest's Ordinary People

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Alienation due to Buck
Alienation is the state or experience of being isolated from a group or an activity which one should be a part of. In Judith Guest’s Ordinary People, alienation plays a big role in each of the characters lives, mainly Conrad’s life. Conrad pushes himself away from everyone before his suicide attempt and after his return from the hospital. Conrad does this to everyone around him because of Buck’s death and not feeling accepted in society. His mother alienates him for the reason that he ruined her reputation and because she has always cared less about him. Conrad’s friends isolate him after his return from the hospital because he is a “flake”. His brothers death and his suicide attempt have caused him to
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The summer of the year Conrad attempted suicide, Jordan drowned in a sailing accident on the lake. This heavily impacts him since he lost his best friend and brother. Conrad isolates himself from his friends as he grieves the loss of Buck. Conrad was not just hurt from the loss of his brother, but he also felt in a way blamed for his death, since he was there during the accident. His depression originated from the loss of his brother and this is a big influence on Con’s decision to try to kill himself. Conrad is grieving his loss so he pushes everyone away from him and things in his life go downhill. He was a straight A student receiving D’s and F’s, he quit the swim team and would only spend time alone. Conrad pushed everyone away so much that upon his return, he did not know how to act. When Conrad returns, he does not know how to reconnect with his friends or with anyone for that matter. When he is greeted by Jeannine Pratt, a pretty girl he later becomes fond of in the book, he is not as friendly as he normally would be and does not know what to say, and Jeannine’s friend even makes a witty comment: “‘You sing better than you talk,’ the blonde says. . .” (Guest 21). Conrad is quiet and keeps to himself since reconnecting with anyone is a big effort for him. He spent so much time alone that he has a hard time making new friends, making situations like these awkward. Conrad later learns to …show more content…
Throughout the book, Beth shows how careless she is when it comes to Conrads wellbeing. Beth think Cal worries too much and that Conrad is fine, when in reality thing are not as well as they seem and he is still recovering. Con strongly feels this carelessness and the unloving attitude his mom has towards him, and he pushes himself away from her for that reason. Conrad thinks back to a memory of when Buck broke his arm, and it could be inferred from the text that Beth was more careful and worryful about Buck: “‘I’m beginning to think you’re accident-prone, you know it?’ Beth has leveled a look at him: ‘Not now you idiot!’” (144). Beth is more concerned about keeping Jordan calm and stress free in light of the fact that he broke his arm. When Conrad was in the hospital, Beth could not even get herself to visit him once. Beth is more concerned with herself and her reputation than she is with her family. Beth revolves her life solely around what people know about her and her social status and Conrad doing this to himself ruined her family 's

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