A Prayer for Owen Meany Notes Essay

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Owen and parents—(audience thinks he is asking a metaphysical question)

John—obsesses about American politics, doesn’t live there; doesn’t know much about Canada

Grandmother becomes slave to tv—uses energy to complain; keeps her active

Hester—upset because parents have no special plans “for her salvation” Why not?

Miracles for Owen—cannot be proved, just believed, another reference to faith

Owen and illness? Vision? “sometimes my vision dims”

Catholics—he thinks they worship objects; Mary Magdalene—placed under archway going nowhere “Mary” attracted more light than any other object—reference to Tabitha?

Owen doesn’t like nuns—unnatural?

John—Americans sense of morality misplaced—outraged by Gary Hart’s extramarital activities but tolerate Reagan’s “immoral” policies concerning the Contras in Nicaragua.

Dandelions—something different that must be destroyed? Owen Meany himself?

Disillusioned with JFK: if you can rationalize adultery, you can rationalize other immoral behavior; Owen believes that Catholics believe that they can be free of their sins and forgive themselves just by going to confession

John and grandmother both seem to enjoy critiquing the world; John obsessed by newspapers and consumed with political and moral issues of the day

Marilyn Monroe—“that’s what powerful men do to this country” “they makes themselves appear moral” Perfection and inability to achieve or preserve it
Success at a high cost
Repressed and exploited sexuality
Loss of innocence
Sexuality so overpowering it is difficult to understand
Naivete
Vulnerability

John—so psychologically damaged he cannot have any kind of a sexual relationship.

The death of JFK—a triumph of television—made an instant hero/romanticizing death. America’s moral decline—blurring line between what is good and what is bad. Demoralizing/addictive. Rots minds but we enjoy it anyway. TV is also the way America first learned directly about...
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