The novel, Ordinary People, written by Judith Guest, is a story about a teenager named Conrad Jarret going from being a young boy to an adult within a year. It is also about how Conrad ascends from worse to better. A year or so before the novel begins Conrad's brother Buck is killed in a boating accident. A while after the accident Conrad becomes depressed and had problems with his mother so he attempts to commit suicide. This book is a Bildungsroman because from the time Conrad goes from his suicide attempt to the end of the book Conrad fully changes into a normal teenager. A Bildungsroman is a novel whose principal subject is the moral, psychological, and intellectual development of a usually youthful main character.
At first Conrad did not know who he was or what his purpose was, when he came home form the hospital. Conrad had no sense of direction because at the hospital there was an everyday routine that he got used to. When he came home he made up his own routine in the beginning. He tried to go back to what every thing was like before his decision. But he was unable to. He was trying to take one day at time. One thing was true though "Things were so different at the hospital. People were, you know, turned on all the time. And you just cannot live like that. You cannot live with all that emotion floating around, looking for a place to land. It is to exhausting." This quote is trying to say that at the hospital people were like machines. The staff told them what to do, when to do it, and how to do it. Outside the hospital you get to make your own choices. .
The things that made him change would be the relationships he had with his elders, Mom, Dad, and Berger his therapist. Conrad could always talk to him and also looked to him for good advice. Another person would be his girlfriend Jen. She made him open his eyes to see the world and opened his heart to feel. One more thing would be his music.