Study Guide

Ordinary People Chapter 2

By Judith Guest

Chapter 2

  • Calvin and Beth Jarrett, suburban parents, deal with pressing issues like housing the homeless, reducing their carbon footprint, and funding healthcare.
  • Just kidding. They're baby boomers in the 70s. Their main problem: "I hate to play golf when it's cold" (2.4). #firstworldproblems
  • Beth wants Calvin to talk to their son about his clothes. "He goes off every day looking like a bum" (2.6).
  • After Calvin ponders the relationship between perfection and parenthood, he heads downstairs for breakfast.
  • Calvin's son, Conrad, is reading Jude the Obscure for school. (Hey, Jude, we can help un-obscure that text for you here.)
  • As Conrad talks, Calvin wonders if Conrad will ever return to "his old self" (2.60). But he also must admit that he's not sure who that was.