Anthony Robbins once said “To effectively communicate, we must realize that we are all different in the way we perceive the world and use this understanding as a guide to our communication with others.” This statement relates well to the characters in the novel Ordinary People. Beth and Calvin Jarret, parents of their son Conrad, continuously maintained poor levels of communication throughout the novel as they were unable to realize their own different views of the world. One of the themes of focus of the novel suggests that the family is dealing with a loss of their loved son, Jordan. Dying as a result of a sailing accident one year before, Conrad attempted to take his own life in his own home, however, his parents found him just in…show more content… Everyone is entitled to different life values as you see the world through different lenses than the person who stands beside you. Beth, for example, comes across as self-serving by participating in those activities that would appear to benefit her. Spending time at the golf course and gossiping with those who she plans events with would suggest that her focus is on herself. She appears to neglect the other aspects which make life valuable; family, feeling and emotion. This inability or lack of attempts to understand the world through different lenses would ultimately result in the division of the family and a metaphorical loss of a second child.
On the other hand, Calvin has a different set of life values than that of Beth. Working in a law office as a tax attorney, working in relative isolation at a desk job provides him a different lenses on the world than Beth’s. Contrary to Beth, Calvin rarely spends time with friends and opts out of dinner party attendance. He would prefer to spend his time promoting open lines of communication lines with his family to assist in the grievance process of their son. This clearly opposes the bottled-up approach practiced by Beth. Calvin is a caring human being and very compassionate.
The relationships between mother and son are different than father and son. Beth believes that her relationship with Conrad is best served by being distant. She feels that by giving him space he will be able to make better life choices and be