Ordinary People Short Essay - Answer Key

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1. The morning that the novel starts, what things does Conrad wonder?

The first morning of the novel, Conrad thinks that life can be summed up like a bumper sticker. Conrad also thinks about the time he spent in the hospital, giving the reader a glimpse into his life. Conrad has been trying to convince himself that he is okay, and this morning is especially significant because it is exactly one month since Conrad's been out of the hospital.

2. What makes Cal think that Conrad is resuming a regular routine in chapter 1?

Cal believes that Conrad is resuming a regular routine because he gets a ride with the neighbor, Joe Lazenby. Cal believes that this indicates Conrad is growing more interested in having friends.

3. How was attention called to Conrad's issues before he went to the mental hospital?

An English teacher called attention to Conrad's issues the previous year when she mentioned that his poetry was very violent. While this didn't indicate that Conrad would commit suicide, it was a warning sign.

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