A Prayer for Owen Meany Literary Analysis Essay

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  • Topic: John Irving, A Prayer for Owen Meany, The Cider House Rules
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A Prayer for Owen Meany Literary Analysis Essay
The definition of believe is to be confident about something. The more confidence one has in things, the more individualistic they become. In A Prayer for Owen Meany, John Irving shows that allowing oneself to believe in something defies mediocrity. Owen Meany is so far from mediocre that he seems to rise above others. His beliefs in all sorts of things help him to achieve this status.

Owen’s chief belief throughout the novel is that he is “GOD’S INSTRUMENT” (337) His belief in this causes him to feel strongly about faith and religion. Throughout Sunday school and church, Owen always appeared to know more than others, or have stronger feelings. Even at a young age he felt these things, like “that the Catholics had committed an UNSPEAKABLE OUTRAGE” (22) and that their family’s move from the church “was a move that risked eternal damnation.” (22) As children, after the death of Johnny’s mother, the reactions of Johnny and Owen differed greatly. Johnny reacted as any normal child would: sad, upset, and in need of a friend. Owen, however, reacted in a much more symbolic way, taking the claws off of Johnny’s armadillo. Johnny didn’t realize at first why this had been done, but Owen later explained that his “hands were the instrument, God has taken” (337) his hands and he is God’s instrument. Owen’s belief in this is so strong that Dan is incredulous. He finds it amazing that a child can come up with meaning such as that. In this way, Owen is far from mediocre. Owen is extremely opinionated. His article in the school paper under the pen name of The Voice proves that. The entire school becomes enthralled with his incredible and insightful posts. Owen is the only person who could create that kind of a commotion with the written word. His belief in his superiority as God’s instrument is extremely apparent through this column and through the transaction between him and the headmaster, who tells him he...
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