A Prayer for Owen Meany Theme Analysis

Topics: Vietnam War, Phillips Exeter Academy, John Irving Pages: 4 (1671 words) Published: June 13, 2013
“He is the reason I believe in God; I am a Christian because of Owen Meany,” (Irving, 1). These were John’s first words of the book, and it nicely represents what the whole book is going to be about. Religious faith, including fate destined by God, is the leading theme in A Prayer for Owen Meany. Many characters, especially John Wheelwright and Owen Meany, undergo a series of events in their lives that make them question, or justify the existence of God in a world where there is no obvious evidence. Every scene that happens in the book has significance and is part of Owen’s destiny and fate, which was believed to be mapped out by God. Owen is the main focus of the novel and is who demonstrates this theme very well. His appearance, visions, dreams, ideas, and acts are each at some point in the story demonstrated to be God’s will- “...I AM GOD’S INSTRUMENT,” (Irving, 337) as Owen put it. It is all of this which explains Owen’s thinking of himself and God, as well as it helps John resolve his faith. Throughout their childhood together and adult life, Owen does and says things that don’t always quite make sense to John, but always give him a sense that there is something else in the world besides people. When Owen’s life on Earth culminates, everything begins to have reason, his appearance, visions, and practices. Owen believed in fate and that he was put into the world for a purpose, known only by God, until it happened. John was always confused about what he believed in, until he witnesses Owen’s miracle save, he suddenly believes. However, he also becomes angry with God.

From the beginning, Owen believed there were no accidents in life, only God’s will. Trouble started when at one of John and Owen’s little league games, Owen killed John’s mother, Tabitha, watching from the third base line, by hitting her with a ball he hit. Owen believed that because he interrupted an Angle of Death he said he saw in Tabitha’s room one night when he had a fever, that God used...
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