Study Guide

Ordinary People Chapter 12

By Judith Guest

Chapter 12

  • Conrad wonders what to do with all his free time now that he isn't swimming. He spends it at the library. Or walking. Or Christmas shopping.
  • One morning before school, Lazenby confronts Conrad. He wants to know why Conrad quit swimming.
  • Lazenby is concerned, but Conrad is short and rude to his friend.
  • "The hell with you" (12.22), Lazenby finally says, giving up.
  • Conrad feels bad for a moment, but he tells himself that he never had friends. They were all his dead brother's friends, anyway.
  • During therapy, Berger tries to wring some feelings out of Conrad like he's a wet dishcloth.
  • After some prodding, Berger makes Conrad angry, which is a start.
  • Berger tells Conrad he needs to accept his feelings. Even the bad ones.
  • On another shopping trip, Conrad bumps into Jeannine, the new hot girl. He asks her out for a Coke.
  • Conrad and Jeannine have a soft drink and talk about movies, books, school, etc.
  • Then Conrad walks Jeannine home, feeling good for the first time in a long while. Happy days are here again.

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