"The Ordinary Son" by Ron Carlson

Categories: Books

In “The Ordinary Son”, Ron Carlson has created one of the blandest characters ever put on paper, and therein lies the story’s peculiar power.

Reed Landers is the son of a NASA scientist and a grassroots poet. In a family of geniuses, he is alone in his commonness. Nothing particularly meritorious underlies his conduct; his intelligence is average, his needs superficial. Reed’s siblings blossom under a strict moral diet of work and unheralded ‘sacrifice’. They eat sardines and crackers for dinner, refuse to mow their yard, and do without a refrigerator.

Meanwhile, Reed, meticulously normal, rebels by choosing materialism. He aspires to average friendships, to owning a car, to physical labor.

Though Reed narrates the story, he offers little in the way of self-examination. Instead, he is defined by a succession of small encounters with minor characters-his family, a few slight friends, his boss. They drift in and out of the story, pausing in their orbits only long enough to refine Reed’s sharp points by radiating their unequivocal realities on his unpolished manhood.

Get quality help now
Bella Hamilton
Verified writer

Proficient in: Books

5 (234)

“ Very organized ,I enjoyed and Loved every bit of our professional interaction ”

+84 relevant experts are online
Hire writer

“The Ordinary Son” is an anti-story. Mr. Carlson offers a photo negative of the everyday issues: teenage rebellion, sex, sibling rivalry, and coming of age. He looks at the spectacular with black-and white eyes that are neither awed nor mystified by what they see. He chooses shadow over detail and narrative over explanation. Placing Reed, a non-entity, among super-humans who exist in an ethereal realm of abstractions forces the reader to draw her own realities on a clean grey slate remarkable only for its flawless mediocrity.

Get to Know The Price Estimate For Your Paper
Number of pages
Email Invalid email

By clicking “Check Writers’ Offers”, you agree to our terms of service and privacy policy. We’ll occasionally send you promo and account related email

"You must agree to out terms of services and privacy policy"
Write my paper

You won’t be charged yet!

Ron Carlson, faced with brilliance, presents instead the unlikeliest of heroes: an Everyman captured in the twilight of youth, unable to escape the genius that surrounds him and painfully aware that he watches with a mind that will never aspire, nor know defeat.

Cite this page

"The Ordinary Son" by Ron Carlson. (2016, Jun 22). Retrieved from https://studymoose.com/the-ordinary-son-by-ron-carlson-essay

"The Ordinary Son" by Ron Carlson

👋 Hi! I’m your smart assistant Amy!

Don’t know where to start? Type your requirements and I’ll connect you to an academic expert within 3 minutes.

get help with your assignment