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In the novel, A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving, the character of Owen Meany achieves this painful process of growing up.

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Madeeha Qasmi ELI OA1 Mr. Flynn January 10, 2003 Owen Meany Essay A popular theme in literature concerns the concept of 'growing up', a painful process by which a character achieves maturity, self-knowledge and confidence. In the novel, A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving, the character of Owen Meany achieves this painful process. Owen Meany is introduced in the novel as a remarkable individual and throughout it can be observed how the brilliant child evolves into the memorable individual that he turns into. In the novel, A Prayer for Owen Meany, by John Irving, Owen Meany matures, gains self-knowledge and confidence to become the miracle that his character was. Owen Meany was obviously a brilliant child, but was still able to improve on his excellent character as he was growing. This can be seen through Owen's maturity level. He was always remarkable advanced and mature for his age, but as he became older, he understood even more than before. His best friend was Johnny Wheelwright. In their friendship, Owen looked after Johnny. He gave him advice and even helped him out academically. When Johnny was bitter about his mother not revealing to him who his father was before she died, Owen came up with a mature response, "Of course, as Owen pointed out to me, I was only eleven when she died, and my mother was only thirty; she probably thought she had a lot of time left to tell me the story. ...read more.


The third thing I know is that I am God's instrument; I have faith that God will let me know what I'm supposed to do, and when I'm supposed to do it." (Irving 366) Owen has complete faith that there are reasons for his being the way he is. This is an example of Owen's self-knowledge. He knew these things with a complete certainty and accepted them. Few people will have blind faith in something. Owen had questions, but he still put his faith in God, bowing to his superiority. He knows who he is. He understands his purpose. He is told by many that he is crazy and insane for thinking that there is a plan for why he has the voice he has. He is also told that he should run far away from what he thinks his destiny is, but Owen is not most people. He knows what his destiny is and runs towards it. Owen's self-awareness and knowledge is what allows him to feel that he is headed towards the right path. In the end, Owen was right. He is able to save the Vietnamese children, "It was not only because he spoke their language; it was his voice that compelled the children to listen to him - it was a voice like their voices. That was why they trusted him, why they listened. 'DOONG SA,' he said, and they stopped crying." ...read more.


He doesn't know if anything is going to happen. His doubts are the most important step to his growing up. In the end, he was right all along. The character, Owen Meany, was a miraculous one, due to his maturity, self-knowledge and confidence, in the novel A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving. Owen was always mature for his age, but he was able to improve on it and make better judgements. He understood that although Kennedy was someone who had been a hero to him, that things are not always as you want them to be. He was able to open his mind to this, and eventually accept the possibility that Kennedy might have behaved inappropriately. Owen had an extreme amount of assurance in himself. He just knew some things and did not feel the need to question them too much. He knew that there was a reason for his voice and although, he wanted to know why, he did not feel daunted by this. He had faith in his ability to do things, even some that he did not manage to do, such as, going to war. Owen's confidence is the last important point in his path to 'growing up'. He had doubts and fear, but in the end his confidence in God and himself won out. Owen finally grew up, when he did what he was meant to do by God. ...read more.

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