Essay about Conrad in the Novel Ordinary People.

A teenaged boy has to deal with many problems while growing up, but fifteen-year-old Conrad in the novel Ordinary People faced problems that even many adult’s can’t handle. Before his brother’s death in a sailboat accident, Conrad was a normal, happy bot. He had friends, was a member of the swimming team, and did well in his schoolwork. But after the accident Conrad withdrew and became secretive, and later on was plagued with worries and insecurities that almost destroyed him.

After his brother’s death, the Conrad everyone had known disappeared, as the boy become more and more secretive and withdrawn and seemed to lose contact with everything around him. The first indication came in his schoolwork. Suddenly Conrad, a straight-A student, began to get D’s and F’s in his classes without telling his parents. Eventually, he tried to kill himself and was placed in a mental hospital, where he was diagnosed as a schizophrenic and recieved psychriatric treament for eight months. But after being released from the hospital, Conrad was still withdrwan – for example, he quit the swimming team without telling anyone. It seemed that he might never open up to the outside owrld again.

Besides his withdrawal from other people, Conrad also need to overcome his compulsive worrying, especially after his return from the hospital. On his first night home, he tought he was losing his mind because he couldn’t remember his neighbor’s name. Another time he worried for days that he might be sent back to the hospital because he had punched another boy. Most of all, Conrad worried about worrying. He thought it was a sign that he was crazy. But he began to recover when he finally realized that all people worry, and that he should not be so afraid of his own thoughts.

Perhaps an even harder fight was Conrad’s battle aggainst his feelings of insecurity. His insecurity was probably the biggest roadblock to his recovery. In the hospital Conrad had not been especially insecure because everyone had the same problems he had. But as soon as he went home, the feeling of not belonging sorrounded him. At school Conrad was treated like a crazy man, someone of whom everyone else was afraid. Even his best friend avoided him. Soon Conrad was afraid to talk to anyone for fear of saying something wrong. But he forced himself to make the effore. He was like a tightrope walker, trying to balance on a wire without falling off. It was very hard for him, but Conrad was determined to make it to the other side and to fit in with the rest of the world.

Conrad went through a great deal during his adolescence. He managed to survive his brother’s death along with the long struggle against withdrawal, worry, and insecurity that followed it. He had to fight a tough battle back to a normal life, but he fought it and, in the end, he won.

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