Wednesday, April 29, 2009


In “A Prayer for Owen Meany”, the book opens up with this verse: “Have no anxiety about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let you requests be made known to God”. That particular verse, which comes from the letter of Paul to the Philippians, is a thread that stays throughout the whole book. Throughout the book, John, who is shaky in his faith, still follows this verse in his own way. He puts his faith, not into God, but into Owen, who many people truly see as God’s instrument. Owen does many things that reinforce the idea, the simplest being taking charge. When he is a small child, he is never able to do this, which seems to be so because of his size. As he gets older though, he begins to grow confident that both his size and his voice is a gift from God, to assist him with God’s plans. Soon, he begins taking charge of the plays Dan puts on, frightening even adults with his power. In the church Christmas plays, he also begins to use some power. “‘MARY BEST BAIRD HAS NEVER BEEN MARY,’ Owen said. ‘THAT WAY, MARY WOULD BE MARY.’” (161). These suggestions lead to some anger, but also some awe from both his fellow classmates, as well as his elders. Owen has much more powerful moments than these, though. The first happens quite early in John’s life, which is when Owen accidentally killed John’s mother. Of course Owen was distraught, but at the same time, he knew it was meant to happen, as he believed he had earlier chased away the angel of death. The second injury he created was when he cut of John’s finger much later in life. Both times, he did this to perform the will of God, which caused John to believe Owen Meany really caused much more good than bad. He cut off John’s finger so that John would not have to go to the army, which is a comforting thing to John. Though it may seem gruesome to the reader, John takes great comfort in it. Also, Owen seems to be able to predict the future, which is shown right before his death. He always felt he would die saving children from Vietnam, and in the arms of a nun. When he was not in Vietnam on the day he knew he was going to die, he worried that his vision was not true, but in the end, he was right after all. His voice and small stature helped him in the end, and as he always claimed, God gave him the body and the voice for a reason. Finally, the idea of his birth to virgin parents, which John never fully believed, was another reason why many were in slight awe of him, or if not, why Meany felt he was the instrument of God. John respected him, and in a sense worshipped him, always listening to what he said. In this way, he had no fear, but put all his trust into Owen, “God’s own instrument”.

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