What exactly makes a world and it's people ordinary? In the spellbinding novel Ordinary People, Judith Guest gives readers a taste of life after having to deal with a terrible crisis, and introduces us to an ordinary family living in an ordinary world. The novel's descriptive nature highlights the main character, Conrad's, struggle in maintaining sanity in an ordinary world. .
Conrad Jarrett is a precise description of a teenager, having to deal with things every teenager his age has to go through daily. The internal conflicts he struggles with, especially his need for affection, and his sense of wanting to belong is what deepens the plot and intrigues readers even more. We see conrad's point of view on life, of the world in which he lives, and where he sees himself fitting into. " .Your sense of identity is what seems to have been misplaced. No. Wrong. You don't lose what you never had." (pg.24) Readers can take his point of view and compare it with their own observations. The next issue is that the affection he is searching for, he gets from the wrong person, his father, while he really needs it from his mother. " .She loves my father, I know that. She loved my brother, too. It's just me."(pg.188). Trying to get his mother's affection and approval is what in some ways intensifies his struggle, as well as affects his parent's marriage.
The descriptions Judith Guest gives throughout the story, regarding all the different issues, that come up, make the book even more realistic, and in some instances even humorous. The descriptions given, depend of Conrad's mood at that time. Although it may seem like it is a bad thing it's not! The variety in the descriptions (which resemble his moods), add excitement to the novel, and make the story flow a lot better. The reader will know what to expect from a chapter, just from the descriptions given at that moment. For example, will it be humorous? Depressing? Touching? .