Ordinary People Vs. Life As A House

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ALL IT TAKES IS ONE | Both Ordinary People written by Judith Guest and Life as a House directed by Irwin Winkler tell the story of a family who goes through the healing and recovery process from their pasts. Each family has their own problems and by the end are both well on their way to a fresh start. But why did these families change in the first place? What gave them the motivation to heal? In both stories, the father figures are the people who lead the families to solve their problems. In Guest’s novel, Calvin Jarrett, Conrad Jarrett’s father, plays a big role in healing his family. He really wants Con to heal and become himself again after the accident. With Con’s attempted suicide, Cal is sparked to rethink his life. He questions…show more content…
At the beginning of the movie, Robin “can’t stand her own son” (Life as a House) and Peter just doesn’t care. Throughout the summer spent with George, Robin “[falls] in love with George again”. Sam sees this when he sees them dancing in the moonlight. This sparked a change within him. His parents are happy and he longs for it himself. By George rekindling his relationship with Robin and not having “been happy for 10 years” until this, Sam sees that if he betters his relationships, he can also be happy. For the whole movie, George “was trying to get [Sam] to love [him]”, and he “pulled it off”. Sam no longer feels neglected and actually feels part of the family. There is no longer a reason to be angry. The irony of these two stories is in Ordinary People, a death tore the family apart, where in this story, it brought them together. When George dies, Sam completely realizes how much he loves him. He will do anything to keep his father alive, so he finishes the house. Sam’s loss lets him love, and appreciate the rest of his family even more. Just like Guest’s novel, one member of the family has to leave for the boys to fully recover and be happy. George’s death gives Sam motivation and shows him what love and happiness really feels like. “Everybody gets touched by somebody they love” and for Sam, George left a lasting, lifelong

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