Ordinary People



The book ends at the end of the summer. Conrad is set to begin his senior year of high school. He has finished therapy with Berger, who makes it clear that Conrad can continue to visit but they no longer have a therapeutic relationship. Conrad has viewed Berger as a friend, but the epilogue reveals him seeking out some of his old friends. He goes to visit Lazenby. Though they have not seen each other in a long time, the boys are still friends. Conrad mentions wanting to beat Lazenby at golf, and Lazenby asks his mother if he can play golf with Conrad rather than finishing his chores. Mrs. Lazenby, who has missed Conrad as well, tells her son that he can go play golf, but insists that Conrad come inside for some breakfast first.

The book ends with Conrad contemplating his relationship with his mother. While Beth has clearly not been a fantastic mother during the course of the novel, Conrad acknowledges that he helped damage their relationship. He used to tell her that they tortured him in the hospital, and he acknowledges that he did that to punish her. This lends some justification to Beth’s belief that his suicide attempt was partially to punish her. He understands that she loves him and that he loves her, as well. While he does not hold out hope that they will have a good relationship, he does decide that he will visit her when she returns home.

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Essays About Ordinary People