In Ordinary People what is your detailed reaction to the Jarrett family and on Conrad?
The Jarrett family seems rather disassociated and dysfunctional. They live in a nice home and externally seem to have everything, but their son has tried to kill himself. They have lost their other son to death. They are a family for whom time stopped with the death of the son.
Conrad feels guilty for having lived when his brother died in the accident. His mother has become cold and closed off emotionally, and he recognizes that his brother had been more loved by her than he had been. Each time his mother interacts with him he senses that she wishes he had been the one not the brother who had died.
The father and Conrad have a better chance on improving their life than the mother. She handles her anger over her son's death in a way that has crippeled her emotionally for the rest of her life. I feel sorry for Conrad and his father, but more so for the mother because she has forgotten how to love those her are still with her.