Study Guide

Ordinary People Chapter 8

By Judith Guest

Chapter 8

  • Calvin and Beth are going to a party, so Calvin starts drinking early. Hey, it's five o'clock somewhere.
  • Calvin asks Conrad if he would like to go to London for Christmas.
  • Conrad concedes, "If she wants to go, I'll go" (8.31).
  • Beth rushes Calvin out the door before they can talk more. They're late to the party.
  • In the car, Beth says it's too late to travel for Christmas, anyway. She doesn't care that Conrad said he'd go. This is what Dr. Berger will probably call "passive aggressive."
  • Calvin is dreading the dinner party, and it's a dull affair.
  • Near the end of the night, when asked how Conrad is doing, Calvin reveals his son is seeing a therapist.
  • Beth says it's time to go.
  • In the car, Beth gets mad at Calvin for revealing their personal business.
  • At home, Calvin and Beth make up in bed, if you get what we're saying, but she turns away afterward, not letting him hold her.
  • Cold and lonely on his side of the bed, Calvin lies awake and remembers when both his sons were still alive.

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