Teen suicide. Just thinking about it sends a shiver down my spine. The idea of teen suicide was unknown to many of us until just recently. And although we have only been exposed to it a few times, it’s happening all around us. “Every day, approximately 95 Americans take their own life, and 2,370 more attempt to do so” (The Truth About Suicide). When anyone is recovering from an attempted suicide, like Conrad the main focus is on how the victim recovers and how you are supposed to help them recover. Every time that you are around that person you are either helping them get better or making it worse. I think that in reality most people would react very similar to the way that Con’s friends and family did. Beth, Calvin, and Con’s friends all had very different reactions, but are they making Con better or worse?
One of the main topics in “Ordinary People” is the relationship between Beth and Con. Once Conrad returns home from the hospital Beth immediately expects things to go back to the way that they used to be. She thinks that Con is still going to act like he used to, as if he never attempted to commit suicide in the first place. This causes an argument throughout most of the book, not only between Beth and Con, but between Beth and Calvin too. I think that most people would agree with Calvin that the way Beth is treating Con isn’t going to make him better. She doesn’t give Conrad any attention. Her actions lead Con to believing that she doesn’t even love him. In the book he told Calvin that, “She hates me” (Guest). “It appears that Beth resents Conrad in many ways” (Relations in Ordinary People). In the time that Conrad should be healing Beth is pushing him away and because of what she is doing she could push Con back to where he was before. Conrad having the feeling that he is unwanted and unloved by his mother isn’t going to make him better.
Some people might argue that how Calvin is treating Conrad is good for him. For some people it might be and maybe in...
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