A Prayer For Owen Meany | Analysis

John Irving's A Prayer for Owen Meany is a quest for faith and question through the love of the persistent camaraderie. First released in 1989, John Wheelwright retells his life growing up in New Hampshire. He jumps back and forth to different occasions of his childhood. John's attention is adopted by his mother's death and his mother's failing to disclose his father's identification. While moving into New Hampshire, his youth good friend, Owen Meany, was quite uncommon compared to the average child. "It had been as though Owen Meany have been born without natural joints" (Irving 2). At the beginning of the book, it is clear that Owen is special. "What faith I have I owe to Owen Meany, a guy I grew up with. It is Owen who made me a believer" (Irving 2). Despite of Owen's monstrous appearance, intellectual products and an air of power that permits him to mention a message: "God has used your mom. My hands were the instrument. God has considered my hands. I am God's tool" (Irving 87). Their a friendly relationship is dependant on Owen's extraordinary occurrence and covered by the freak mishap of Johnny's mother. Irving's diction and symbolism inquires a mindset implicating an individual take on Owen through the capitalization in his words. Young Owen inspires his best friend, Johnny wheelwright, into his own opinion within Christ. "He's the reason I believe in God; I am a Religious because of Owen Meany" (Irving 1). As John retells his child years, adulthood and life after Owen's death, John becomes skeptical of Owen Meany's unquestionable belief in the purpose of all things like the dressmaker's dummy and the angel. He believes he found an angel after Tabitha's fatality and since he interrupted it, the task was reassigned to him. "He'd talked Dan and me out of the dressmaker's dummy; he stationed my mother's heartbreaking figure at his bedside - to stand watch over him to be his angel" (Irving 201). When before, Owen got accidentally killed John's mom with a football, he believed he's an instrument of God and that it is a reason why God selected him. Now Owen starts foretelling his life through dreams that are prophecies of his own future, he seems destined to change John's life. Owen spends his life producing God's instrument and determining how to get rid of his life. At one point, Owen had to visit a psychiatrist and John said "Would have heard a little of GOD's Device theme; even Dr. Dolder would have uncovered Owen's perplexing and troubling anti-Catholicism. . . " (Irving 383). It is not until after Owen's loss of life that John realizes the impact Owen acquired on his life because John learns he was a miraculous delivery. John Irving's heartbreaking novel stresses the value of religious beliefs versus question that leaves the reader thinking in the presence of God.

Scholarly Article

In the critical article by Bryan Aubrey


John Irving's A Prayer for Owen Meany is a brilliantly written novel full of religious issues, need for faith and interpersonal justice. Irving tells his account through the tone of voice of his utterly and furiously furious character, John wheelwright. Conveying the storyline through one of the main characters,


A Prayer for Owen Meany has multiple topics, but, throughout the work, John Irving consistently emphasizes trust and hesitation. The theme of spiritual faith versus doubt is visible throughout the book. The viewers first see this with the type, John Wheelwright. Though John is incredibly centered on his mother premature death and failing to reveal his father's identity, he develops an utterly and furiously anger. Young John holds a perception implying "I make no says to have a life with Christ" (Irving 1). Again, this theme is exemplified when Owen thinks he's God's device. Although Owen is verified as the "Christ Child" (Irving 165) it appears to have possessed him at a young age group. Owen never concerns that there's a purpose for all things and his trust is his own future.

Irving's major theme of trust and doubt leads the reader into the prospective of "question about a minute, faith another" or simply "faith about a minute, doubt another" which makes Pastor Merrill an integral figure in the theme of religious trust. Pastor Merrill religious beliefs is founded on the need of doubt. It is later transpired that Merrill is the father of John and he has completely lost his faith. Before John realizes Merrill is his father, its clear Merrill no more has faith in the spiritual truths he preaches. His doubt chewed him up and remaining him with only then restored with what he refers to as a "miracle". The truth is, it was a strategy enjoyed on him by John, who clothes the dressmaker's dummy so it resembles his mom and fools the pastor into thinking it's a perspective of Tabitha. This imitation miracle is what restored Merrill's faith back to preaching. Dueling on this event indicates the value of John finding out who his daddy is basically because at one point John couldn't take time to consider. Owen was the main one to assure him that God knows who John's dad is and will eventually identify him. So John began to believe regardless of what my happen. He started to search without the information from his mother and he succeeded. He didn't repent his labor and birth although he missed out to his past due twenties but he needed his own life into religious beliefs in the same concern as Owen Meany that he once despised. Irving shows how something that can't be rationally explained is essential for religious trust to flourish.


John Irving's A Prayer for Owen Meany could very well be one of the utmost spirited and heartbroken reports ever. A Prayer for Owen Meany increases an issue that may be considered more relevant to all in a period. Irving's aspect of Christ provides his portrayal of the significance of Owen's life and his effect on others. "I've always asked myself what would be the magnitude of the miracle that could convince me of religious trust" (Irving 213). When Owen is first presented, his religious trust and wonders is shown completely with him ordained as an instrument of God. He first jumps to the realization because he was the device used to wipe out John's mother in the freak incident. Through his unquestionable perception, Owen stays confidential to his destiny and never questions what he is convinced in whereas customers suffers and would like to give up on faith and/or life. A Prayer for Owen Meany educates these people the importance of faiths capacity of being restored and the fact of everything going on for a reason. Irving shows a skinny brand between "Doubt one minute, Trust the next" and never restoring beliefs or thinking in miracles. Irving's communal justice and love in a persistent friendship illustrates the keenness of Owen that encouraged him to sacrifice it all also to be open-minded in order to find the answers. It requires years of willpower and divinity, but Owen became an illustration of any Christ-figure at a young age and has the capacity to succeed. This transmits a message to people today implicating ethical expectations. No real matter what may be considered a trivial setback in life, it is always significant to always have faith and also to stay firm in one's values. John Irving's A Prayer for Owen Meany provides voice dignifying expectation as the final resort. I believe his intention on paper this book had not been merely to captivate John's mother early death, but the allegory of how John was formed in to the man he became. That is why this excellent book has been able to inspire the visitors into religious beliefs alternatively than discouraging one's true beliefs and ability to be prophesized through dreams or words from on linked to God. Irving teaches not only the value of pursuing ones values and miracles but also the importance of being true to one's home and others at times. It is only by staying truly pure at heart and true to our own religious concepts, that becoming true to ourselves, can help one not to quit, to remove the unease by repenting, making sure a new beginning


"Faith vs. Uncertainty"

By Fawzia Zie

Doubt recognizes the obstacles.

Faith sees the way.

Doubt sees the darkest nights.

Faith sees the day.

Doubt dreads to have a step.

Faith soars on high.

Doubt questions ' who is convinced '?

Faith answers

Fawzia Zie's "Beliefs vs. Uncertainty" portrays the difference between your strength of one who has faith to the weakness of one who questions. Words like "hurdles" differs from "way" or "darkest nighttime" differs from "day" (lines 1-4) emphasizes uncertainty being the downfall to oneself. The use of diction creates a shade shifting from hurt and distress to finding ones true self applied. The complete poem comprises multiple sentences, which ultimately shows a person can go in either route depending on their mind setting to be one who "requires a step" or "soars on high" (lines 5-6). The individual known as "faith" is the main one who discovers his way while the person known as "doubt" is placed back wanting to know why?

In A Prayer for Owen Meany, Owen revealed faith being symbolized as the "Chosen One" (Irving 160). Owen doesn't realize why he has been chosen. His best ally, John Wheelwright, shows hesitation in Owen's notion: "God would inform me who my dad was, Owen Meany acquired promised me; but, so far, god had been silent" (Irving 201) Owen is destined to change John's life and to develop God's tool "Owen Meany started his lengthy contribution to my perception in God" (Irving 10) for their remarkable companionship and religious destiny. He chooses to find the right answers and rate everything together to solve what John imagine is unbelievable. Owen becomes considered the "Christ child [himself]" (Irving 165). In the long run, it is merely then when Owen's trust helps John to find true joy in his life and his hesitation doesn't leave him doubtful of who to believe.

Fawzia Zie and John Irving reveals how it requires beliefs to sacrifice everything to avoid "the hurdles" (range 1) and find the "answers" (brand 7). Zie has learned doubt is the torment of not being able to "have a [an extra] step" (lines 5) and order to be who you thought we would be. Fawzia Zie's poem shows trust as the devotion Owen experienced in everything even without reasonable proof. Once one is capable of believing everything is possible and putting beliefs within God, he will lead just how, unyielding any obstructions in their way. Irving's connection to Zie is "Owen Meany possessed sacrifice much more" (Irving 459) because he put everything in god hands and was with the capacity of ignoring others viewpoints. Faith always discovers its way, however, as it is miraculous to withhold. Along, that they had a possible on faith leading other into understanding the importance of its ability to steer.

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