preview

Owen Meany

Better Essays
"Watch out for people who call themselves religious; make sure you know what they mean-make sure they know what they mean!" (572). In the novel written by John Irving, A PRAYER FOR OWEN MEANY, the protagonist, Owen Meany, developed an unusual religious significance. Owen experienced visions of future events, he had a unique type of faith in God that most do not attain, and Owen spoke endlessly to inform people about God. Throughout Owen's life he demonstrated the same characteristics as a prophet through his actions and his words. Thus one could conclude that Owen Meany is a prophet.
Similar to a prophet, Owen was given precognitive powers that allowed him to see into the future. Owen's first prophecy came to him on New Years Eve 1953 during the community production of 'A Christmas Carol'. The most obvious inference concerning the play was that Owen played the part of the ghost of Christmas yet to come. In reaction to Owen's portrayal of this character, the audience's faces which were "so amused, so curious, so various-were rendered shockingly similar; each face became the model of each other's fear" (42). Owen had dehumanized this character to the point that children were leaving the theater crying and some were even wetting their pants. One reference which could be made concerning Owen and Scrooge was that "GOD HAS ALLOWED [them] TO KNOW MORE THAN MOST PEOPLE KNOW-…" (366). Both of them were told their futures, however Scrooge made an effort to change his, where as Owen did not. Owen's revelation came through a vision he experienced during the graveyard scene of the play. He immediately fainted. The curtains went down, and members of the production all ran to Owen's aid, yet he seemed ungrateful, "He appeared to be sullenly embracing his 'vision' like the typically doubtless prophet he so often seemed to be…" (246). Owen believed he had seen his name on a gravestone along with the date of his death. No one could convince him otherwise. The fact that Owen was correct about the date of his death confirmed that he had visions; this proved he had qualities of a prophet.
A prophet uses prophecies to not only prove they have powers, but also to benefit others. The second prophecy came to Owen in his dreams when he envisioned the reason and the way his life woul...

... middle of paper ...

...n God but knowing he exists to the point of putting love, faith and destiny in one power. Owen marked his place within the hearts of those who surrounded him with his teachings, strong words of advice and encouragement.
Owen Meany demonstrated many characteristics of a prophet, and could be linked to a prophetic figure. On more than one occasion, he had visions of future events which affected other people around him physically and spiritually. Throughout his life he also maintained a special relationship and strong faith in God. Many of Owens morals and values that he voiced became strong teachings about life. Although everyone in the world did not know him, many believed he was special for his wisdom at such a young age. Through these accomplishments, Owen leads himself to the stage of being a prophet. Today, prophets could be all among us, yet society turns away from the idea. The idea of a teacher for the subject of life fascinates many, but the idea of God sending messengers to us repels those who lack faith. What would it take for you to recognize a prophet? Many prophets may go unrecognized in the world and yet the only way they can exist is if someone will believe in them.
Get Access