Ordinary People: A Novel Symbols & Objects

Diana Evans
This Study Guide consists of approximately 36 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Ordinary People.
This section contains 640 words
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The House

Michael and Melissa’s house symbolizes the stressors of domesticity. Because Melissa works from home, she is burdened with all of the responsibilities of childcare and household chores. These stressors, along with Michael and Melissa’s relationship problems, cause Melissa’s mental state to deteriorate. She begins to believe that the house is infected by a malevolent force.

Barack Obama’s Election

In the novel, Barack Obama’s election symbolizes the tension between social progress and persistent social issues. After Obama is elected to the United States Presidency, the novel’s characters celebrate this event as a landmark of social progress for black people, but the characters also recognize the salient and oppressive social issues that still plague many black communities.

Music

In the novel, music symbolizes uncertainty and the struggle of one’s internal desires. For example, when listening to songs by John Legend...

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This section contains 640 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Ordinary People: A Novel Study Guide
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