A Prayer for Owen Meany Essay

1245 WordsMay 23, 20135 Pages
Writing from his home in Toronto, Canada in 1987, John Wheelwright narrates the story of his childhood. Peppering his narrative with frequent diary entries in which he chronicles his outrage against the behavior of the Ronald Reagan administration in the late 1980s, Wheelright tells the story of his early life in Gravesend, New Hampshire, when his best friend was Owen Meany, who he remembers as the boy who accidentally killed Wheelwright's mother and made Wheelright believe in God. The narrative of A Prayer for Owen Meany does not follow a perfect chronology, as John pieces together the story he wants to tell. Owen is a bizarre child. A tiny dwarf, he has weirdly luminous skin and an ethereally nasal voice (represented in the novel in all-capital letters). He has a tremendous crush on John's mother, who, in turn, is very fond of him; she even intervenes with Owen's parents to ensure that he will be able to attend the elite Gravesend Academy for high school. John does not know who his father is, though he does know his heritage: he comes from the aristocratic Wheelwright family. Owen's parents, in contrast, are undistinguished parents who run a struggling granite quarry. Nonetheless, Owen assures John that God will help him discover the identity of his father. John has always believed that his mother will tell him one day, but this hope is dashed; one day at a Little League game, Owen, ordered to bat for John, hits a high foul ball that falls onto John's mother's head, breaking her neck and killing her. John, brokenhearted, now splits his time between his grandmother's manor at 80 Front Street and his stepfather Dan Needham's apartment at Gravesend Academy, where Dan serves as a history and drama professor. John loves Dan, who becomes like a real father to him. John and Owen remain close friends. In December, 1953, six months after John's mother's death, John

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