A Prayer for Owen Meany


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Touching, intriguing, depressing, these are all words that would describe the book A Prayer for Owen Meany. This story shows those characteristics by how showing how one’s life can change for better and worse, by having a good friend. One of the main characters in this book is a man by the name of John Wheelwright. John is led to religious faith by the life of his best friend Owen Meany. Owen believes in fate and he has visions of what the future holds.
In the beginning when John and Owen were eleven, they were both on the same baseball team. The one time Owen was allowed to bat he hit the ball and the ball hit John’s mother. She died that instant and then later Owen said, “GOD HAS TAKEN YOUR MOTHER. MY HANDS WERE THE INSTRUMENT. GOD HAS TAKEN MY HANDS. I AM GOD'S INSTRUMENT.” The meaning of this quote is that Owen looks at himself as the murderer of John’s mom. This hurts John knowing his best friend says he killed John’s mother. Also because John does not know who his father is and is now without parents. However John still remains friends with him. This is most likely because John does not believe that Owen is responsible for this tragedy.
Later that year at Christmastime Owen states, “I SAW MY NAME-ON THE GRAVE.”. John and Owen were in a production of A Christmas Carol. Owen was chosen as The Ghost of the Future. When he goes to show Mr. Scrooge his tombstone Owen sees his name on it. However he also sees a date on it which he will not tell anyone about when. As time went on Owen found out more about his death while dreaming. John is scared by this because Owen never let the idea that he will be dieing soon out of his head. Owen, from then on has John help him prepare for his death. Owen manages to convince John to practice a basketball move called “The Shot” which John does not understand why but, does anyway.
When John and Owen were older, they were playing in the academy when they saw a couple having sex. John looked away and Owen watched. Owen later said, “SEX MAKES PEOPLE CRAZY.” This had a deep effect on John because he remained a virgin his whole life. He says that the reason he’s a virgin is because of what has happened to him because of Owen.

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John has lost his mom, best friend, and a finger. Plus he became aware of the possibility that all things happen for a reason and the that the future is planned.
Later in life they became old enough to get drafted to go to Vietnam. Owen tries his hardest to get sent there while he tries to stop John from getting sent. Owen takes John to a lumber mill and cuts off his index finger so he couldn’t use a gun. He then says “JUST THINK OF THIS AS MY LITTLE GIFT TO YOU.” John then can’t be drafted to war because he wouldn’t prove helpful. John then has to stay at home while Owen prepares for war.
Throughout the story Owen has a very high-pitched nasally voice. At one point John and Owen met a singing teacher. He is obsessed with Owens’s voice; however, Owen does not want the man to help change his voice. Later John and Owen at an airport and were asked by a nun to take some Vietnamese children to the bathroom. While there a crazy man with a grenade comes to kill the kids. Owen is able to speak with the kids because his voice and body size are like how they are. He then says, “NOW I KNOW WHY MY VOICE NEVER CHANGES.” This helped John because he now had the children safe while he worried about the grenade. John, at this moment starts to realize that Owen was right about his death and he has been preparing for it.
Previously, in John and Owens’s lives. They would practice the basketball move they had called “the shot”. What it is, is Owen would grab the ball, run up to the net and jump, then John would grab him, and Owen Slam dunk the ball. Owen insisted that they could do this move in less the four seconds. When they were at the airport Owen said to John “REMEMBER ALL OUR PRACTICING.” John and Owen then did the shot with the grenade and a window. The grenade blew up, killing Owen just as he imagined it. This had a huge affect on John because his best friend was now dead. Later, John decides to write down Owens’s story and to show the awakening of his own belief in God.
John’s has been heavily influenced by the life of Owen Meany. In that time John has lost several people he has cared for and has seen a lot of horrible things. Like his best friend in a sink with his arms blown off. I believe that the point of this story is to show that friendship is a bond that can never be broken. Friends will always help each other no matter how bad things seem. Your Friends will always be there for you. John would say at Owens’s funeral the same words that Owen said at John’s Mother’s funeral. “Into paradise may the angels lead you.”


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