A critical response on Judith Guest's Ordinary People describing character development, themes, and the author's writing style.

Essay by jmvines67High School, 10th gradeB, February 2004

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Literature is a way for a person to express their experiences and stories to a mass of readers. Those people are able to connect to the message of the author, even if they experience a slightly different scenario than that of the characters. In Ordinary People, by Judith Guest, the readers connect with the message through the incorporation of developed themes, a highly troubled characters and the novel?s style of writing. The author conveys a message to the reader in which they are able to connect because of the similar situations and surroundings they are in.

For instance, the numerous themes in the book are relatable to the readers. One of the main themes involves the possible healing process in an individual setting, and the difficulties of doing so in a group. All the healing occurs after a dreadful experience, such as a family member dieing. This can be seen through Conrad himself managing to get better and get his life back on track, and Calvin and Beth's marriage collapsing.

The reason for all their problems was a lack in communication, and the complex reasons for the deficiency could have been explained further. For example, Beth does not want to pamper Conrad as her husband does, but she fails to communicate with Calvin or Conrad about it. Beth and Calvin purely lose their capability to communicate successfully with one another, because they believe that communication ought to occur very differently. The author could have also gone more in depth about the complexities of how Beth saw a family should be run, since she feels she knows exactly how one should be run.

The authors writing style is unique, but also gives the reader insight to two characters and their views on life. The alternating chapters of the book...