Ordinary People

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(Joe) Lazenby Character Analysis

Lazenby is one of Conrad's oldest friends; the two have known each other since early childhood, and both are members of their school's swim team. Besides Cal, he is the character who is most proactive in his attempts to help Conrad recover. Unfortunately Conrad spends much of his time distancing himself from Lazenby, which puts considerable strain on their friendship.

(Joe) Lazenby Quotes in Ordinary People

The Ordinary People quotes below are all either spoken by (Joe) Lazenby or refer to (Joe) Lazenby. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Mental Disorder Theme Icon
). Note: all page and citation info for the quotes below refers to the Penguin Books edition of Ordinary People published in 1982.
Chapter 22 Quotes

The keys dig into his thigh. Next to him, Lazenby sits, elbow against the door, his hand propping his check. What he said is true. The three of them were always together, why does he think of it as only his grief? Because damn it it is. His room no longer shared, his heart torn and slammed against this solid wall of it, this hell of indifference. It is. And there is no way to change it. That is the hell.

Related Characters: Conrad Jarrett, (Joe) Lazenby
Page Number: 182
Explanation and Analysis:

In this chapter, Conrad has a fight with his former friend, Stillman. Afterwards, Lazenby reaches out to him--he really wants to know why Conrad finds it so difficult to get along with his old friends. More to the point, Lazenby wants to know why Conrad insists on bottling up his feelings. Lazenby reveals that he misses Conrad's brother, Buck, almost as badly as Conrad does--and yet Conrad insists on keeping his grief a secret instead of sharing it with people who might be able to understand it, such as Lazenby.

The passage makes an important point: grieving people often suffer because they have nobody to talk to, or because they think that nobody else understands their feelings. Conrad makes a point of cutting himself off from his friends, because he's still trying to find the courage to deal with his brother's death. Lazenby represents a "light at the end of the tunnel"--proof that there are good people out there, who want to help Conrad, and know how.

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(Joe) Lazenby Character Timeline in Ordinary People

The timeline below shows where the character (Joe) Lazenby appears in Ordinary People. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 2
Fate vs. Responsibility Theme Icon
"Family" and Love Theme Icon
Body/Mind Duality Theme Icon
...insists that he's fine. Cal notes to himself that Conrad hasn't spent much time with Lazenby, Truan, Genthe, or Van Buren – four boys who'd been Conrad's friends since they were... (full context)
Mental Disorder Theme Icon
Fate vs. Responsibility Theme Icon
"Family" and Love Theme Icon
...healthy dose of sarcasm Conrad tells his dad that things are "fine," and adds that Lazenby will be giving him a ride to school. To Cal, Conrad seems just like "his... (full context)
Chapter 3
Fate vs. Responsibility Theme Icon
"Family" and Love Theme Icon
Body/Mind Duality Theme Icon
Conrad stands on his front porch, awaiting his ride to school. Lazenby is running a few minutes late, and for a moment the thought of having to... (full context)
Fate vs. Responsibility Theme Icon
"Family" and Love Theme Icon
During the ride home, Lazenby and Stillman discuss a couple of impressive sophomores on the swim team. (It so happens... (full context)
Chapter 10
Mental Disorder Theme Icon
"Family" and Love Theme Icon
Lazenby, Stillman, Truan, Genthe, and Van Buren make plans to see a movie. Lazenby would like... (full context)
"Family" and Love Theme Icon
Conrad clears out his locker, then heads to Lazenby's car for a ride home. Lazenby asks if Conrad would like to go to the... (full context)
Chapter 12
Fate vs. Responsibility Theme Icon
"Family" and Love Theme Icon
...left the team, he spends his time studying or visiting many different places around town. Lazenby confronts Conrad one morning at school, upset that Salan was the person to let them... (full context)
Chapter 18
"Family" and Love Theme Icon
...bridge club meeting. Conrad slips into the house trying to avoid the group, but Carole Lazenby greets him warmly and introduces him to the rest of the women. Beth sits by... (full context)
Mental Disorder Theme Icon
"Family" and Love Theme Icon
Body/Mind Duality Theme Icon
Alone, Conrad considers Mrs. Lazenby's offer. He eventually concludes that too many distractions have come between him and Lazenby, and... (full context)
Chapter 22
Mental Disorder Theme Icon
"Family" and Love Theme Icon
Body/Mind Duality Theme Icon
Embarrassed, Lazenby and Truan try to make small talk with Conrad. But Stillman emerges and cuts in,... (full context)
Mental Disorder Theme Icon
"Family" and Love Theme Icon
Once in his car Conrad realizes that he's lost his keys, but Lazenby soon appears with them in hand. He gets into Conrad's car, demanding that the two... (full context)
Chapter 30
Mental Disorder Theme Icon
"Family" and Love Theme Icon
Body/Mind Duality Theme Icon
...she knew that he'd tried his hand at poetry before, so she lets slip that Lazenby told her. She had approached Conrad's friend in hopes of learning as much about "the... (full context)
Epilogue
Mental Disorder Theme Icon
"Family" and Love Theme Icon
Next, Conrad visits Lazenby's house. Mrs. Lazenby directs Conrad to the backyard, where her son is practicing his golf... (full context)
Mental Disorder Theme Icon
Fate vs. Responsibility Theme Icon
"Family" and Love Theme Icon
Body/Mind Duality Theme Icon
As Conrad stands alone in Lazenby's backyard, he remembers a letter Beth had written to Ellen, describing some drawings that he... (full context)