Emotional perfection Essay

Submitted By tarazufan
Words: 1232
Pages: 5

Mrs. Skillman
American Literature
30 October 2013 Emotional Perfection As a person grows older, one changes in may ways. A person changes both physically, emotionally and mentally as time passes. Throughout the book “Ordinary People” you learn that emotional growth is much more difficult to fulfill than physical growth. One must understand his own mistakes and admit to them before he can develop emotionally, while you do not need any self- analysis to develop physically. Judith Guest takes us on an emotional journey of discovering the struggles a man has to experience to reach his own emotional perfection. In many ways Conrad, the books protagonist, struggles to over come his harsh childhood. Conrad is searching for a higher level of emotional health while his found newly found physiatrist helps him over come his insecurities. Conrad is in desperate need to get out and face the feelings that he as repressed after his bother, Buck, tragic death. Conrad begins developing psychological problems when he repressed his feelings from his friends and family, and he starts looking for approval from others. Conrad hides all of his emotions and feelings and then he judges himself based off of what others see and think of him. For Example, when Conrad’s english teacher, Miss Melon, Asked him “Do you want an extension?” Conrad declines politely and Miss Melon adds again, “Are you sure? There’s no need to push yourself.” Although Conrad was falling behind in swimming and choir, he refused to have anyone be concerned about what may happen with him falling behind or cause conflict of any sort. Conrad try’s his hardest to keep up with everything going on in his life but he often expresses his feelings as “falling into an endless motion.” Conrad’s swimming coach, Coach Salan, also brings something up to Conrad about his rapidly declining swimming times. Coach Salan pulls Conrad aside and says to him, “ A bright kid like you, with everything going for him. I don’t get it. Why do you want to keep messing up your life?” After this conversation ends, Conrad is at an extreme discomfort and starts believing that his choice to quit the swim team was wrong, although after he discusses this with his psychiatrist, Dr Berger, helped him understand that quitting the swim team was helping him tremendously on his journey to over come what others think of him. Not only was Conrad beginning to overcome his massive self struggle, but he was also learning how to reconnect with his father and mother. Conrad was always the child who never quite had the same attention as his older brother, Buck. After Buck’s death, his mother was very upset about Buck’s death, but refused to let her emotions shine though. Every time Beth would look at Conrad she would see the boy who killed her beloved son. Conrad never understood why his mother resented him so much. Caroline Hunt, in an article in Children’s Literature, believed that “Conrad, the main character, has at the beginning a sense of being very much in the shadow of the parent or older sibling- who is, significantly, of the same sex as the narrator.” Her opinion relates strongly to what is happening with conrad because Conrad is being neglected by his mother because she was never able to look past the accident that resulted in the death of Buck. Conrad struggles with trying to please his mother and father although he is very distant from both. He doesn't want either to worry about his well being and often feels lucky when they almost forget about him. Conrad has a conversation with his psychologist “ I don’t want everyone to have to worry about me anymore.” This is showing us that Conrad feels that he is a burden to his entire family now. He does not want in anyway to get in their way or have him be the biggest concern in their lives. Conrad later is having a conversation with Dr. Berger about how he is the reason for his bothers death. Dr. Berger gives Conrad some memorable advice that seems to really…