Ordinary People: A Novel Themes & Motifs

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.
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Relationships

The novel consistently explores romantic relationships with attention to the inherent challenges therein, as the narrative demonstrates how the desire to commit to another person is often challenged by personal fear and interpersonal friction. Michael and Melissa’s relationship is peculiar in this regard because, although they have been together for 13 years, live together, and raise children together, they are not married. As the narration states, “The wedding was lost somewhere, first in apathy of implementation, then in a cooling in euphoria…and alter in the rubble of domesticity” (8). Throughout the novel, Melissa and Michael both demonstrate enduring love for one another a desire to overcome relationship problems. However, their disagreements and underlying fear of commitment create cycles of stress and unhappiness, thereby often overcoming Michael and Melissa’s desire to repair their relationship. The novel thereby demonstrates potential disconnections between intention and action in such...

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This section contains 2,283 words
(approx. 6 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Ordinary People: A Novel Study Guide
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