A Prayer for Owen Meany

Topics: John Irving, Novel, A Prayer for Owen Meany Pages: 2 (710 words) Published: September 17, 2013
AP Literature
14 December 2012

A Prayer for Owen Meany
A Prayer for Owen Meany is a tale with many symbolic and memorable acts. To me, the most memorable part (or scene, if you will) is when Owen Meany removed the claws off the armadillo. This was significant because of the symbolic meaning the armadillo had to John and Owen. It was an animal the two held very close to their hearts. The act of removing the claws caused a stir and created many mixed emotions from many of the characters. Ultimately, the removal of the claws was a rebellious act and had a deep meaning.

Another part of the novel that has a huge significant meaning is the book-changing event. Owen was moved to give John something in return for taking his mother’s life by accident. Owen did not have any intentions of taking the life of John’s mother, but he was under the impression that it was God’s plan for his life. In response, Owen gave John his coveted, or most prized possession—his baseball cards. Having received this gift from Owen, John was puzzled. He discussed with Dan on what to do about this peculiar gift giving. Naturally, in response to receiving a gift, he decided to give one back to Owen. This time, John gave him his most prized possession—the declawed armadillo. This understandably brought about many negative emotions. He was confused and angry about why the armadillo was declawed. In turn, Dan had to explain the reasoning behind Owen’s actions. He showed John the armadillo was symbolic of “if he could, he would cut off his hands for you” (Irving 89). With this understanding, John was able to deal with the situation in a sensible manner.

The removal of the armadillo’s claws plays a large role in the reconciliation between Owen and John. It helped them move on with their issues with one another. It was just at this time when their relationship really blossomed. They became best friends. They did everything together—from something as simple as playing games to choosing high...
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