By John Irving
“I am doomed to remember a boy with a wrecked voice – not because of his voice, or because he was the smallest person I ever knew, or even because he was the instrument of my mother’s death, but because he is the reason I believe in God; I am a Christian because of Owen Meany.”
Quoting these sentences I’d like to introduce John Irving’s novel “A Prayer for Owen Meany”.
In order to enhance a clearer understanding I give you a short overview using this structure on the blackboard. First of all you get a quick insight into the book’s content, afterwards we lay the focus on the book’s main themes and finally I’ll outline some facts of the author.
Now for the content.
Writing from his home in Toronto, Canada in 1987, John Wheelwright narrates the story of his childhood in Gravesend, New Hampshire, when his best friend was Owen Meany, who he remembers as the boy who accidentally killed John’s mother and who made him believe in God.
John spends most of his time with Owen Meany, whose family owns a granite company in Gravesend. Right away the reader gets to know that Owen is totally different from the other children in town – physically, he's the smallest kid around. He has ears that stick out and a voice that terrifies people who hear it for the first time. The author emphasizes this annoying voice visually by capitalizing all of Owen’s direct speeches.
At the age of 11, Owen wins the part of the third ghost in the play A Christmas Carol. On the night of the final performance, he has a vision in which he believes he sees his own gravestone--complete with the date of his own death.
Years pass by and over the time, as more and more details of his death are revealed to him by his visions, Owen comes to believe that he is God's instrument on Earth, and that he is destined to die heroically.
Religious faith - specifically, the relationship between faith and doubt in a world in which...