Tag: A Prayer for Owen Meany


A Prayer for Owen Meany — Two Inconsistencies


John Wheelwright’s view of a radical transcendence (God is there, but he's so very, very far away), results in his inability to experience a flourishing faith like that of Owen Meany or many of his spiritual mentors since. I can't help but wonder if this is a result of John...

A Prayer for Owen Meany — “The Shot”


In A Prayer for Owen Meany, John Irving presents an incarnational spirituality in the novel. Owen is the character that embodies this view of reality. That Irving is not able to embrace the incarnational view is manifest in the conversion of the story’s narrator, John Wheelwright. Wheelwright ends up believing...

A Prayer for Owen Meany — “The Finger”


This post will not be about the finger.  You probably already figured out that through the removal of his finger, John Wheelwright joins Chief Watahantowet, the armadillo, the dressmaker's dummy, the Mary Magdalene statue in armlessness. By this point in the novel we have a pretty good understanding of the person...

A Prayer for Owen Meany — “The Dream”


In the seventh chapter of A Prayer for Owen Meany, Owen's life continues to parallel that of Jesus: Because of Owen's attacks on the establishment, especially the hypocrisy of the new headmaster. Owen is brought before the Sanhedrin –he is called irreverent (289) and antireligious (409, 413). Eventually Owen’s enemies...

A Prayer for Owen Meany — “The Voice”


The life of Owen Meany has many parallels to that of Jesus Christ. Who else is Hester, but Owen’s Mary Magdalene? She has “the reputation for promiscuity [and is]devoted to Owen, yet so far as anyone knows, they are never lovers” (Sykes 64). Another parallel between Owen and Jesus is...

A Prayer for Owen Meany – “The Ghost of Christmas Future”


In chapters 4 and 5 of A Prayer for Owen Meany, Owen fills two roles in the dramatic productions of Gravesend 1953 Christmas season.   He assumes the role of the Little Lord Jesus in the Christmas Pageant in the Episcopalian church and the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come in...

A Prayer for Owen Meany — “The Little Lord Jesus”


In A Prayer for Owen Meany, Owen and Johnny function as foils in Irving’s exploration of faith and doubt. Owen represents an incarnational position where transcendence is seen to be within the material world, and the young Johnny sees the transcendent as far off and irrelevant (likely nonexistent) to the world...

“A Prayer for Owen Meany” — “The Angel”


Before I get into chapter 3 in A Prayer for Owen Meany, I wanted to point out the pattern of rebirth that is built into the structure of the novel. Tabitha Wheelwright’s death is recounted in the first chapter, but in the following chapters we meet and get to know the...

A Prayer for Owen Meany — “The Armadillo”


The novel, A Prayer for Owen Meany presents a clash of worldviews. Owen sees and understands the world in a much different way than do the young Johnny and the other characters in the novel. The key difference is that Owen is not as strongly influenced by modern secularism as...

A Prayer for Owen Meany — “The Foul Ball”


A Prayer for Owen Meany is narrated by the adult John Wheelwright. As he tells the story of how Owen Meany is responsible for his belief in the Christian God, he regularly breaks into the narrative commenting on his life in the present, often on his current spiritual struggles ....