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A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving

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Introduction

Cassie Pharis 3rd Hour/ Mrs. Young Novel and Drama Essay Johnny Wheelright Although the characters in A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving were all very complex and well-developed, Johnny Wheelright, was best developed and understood indirectly because of his actions and spoken opinions found in the book. Johnny is an observer who tells the story of his friend and family in a cynical but meticulous and slightly detached manner. He is, however, passionately loathsome towards the government throughout much of the book. Furthermore, his obsession with Vietnam is an indirect obsession with the memory of Owen Meany. ...read more.

Middle

In his complacency to mourn, a scornful boy, full of reproach towards his mother for her concealment of his father's identity and favor of Owen, is revealed. It is evident that Johnny harbors much resentment towards the government beginning with the Johnson administration and the Vietnam War. His life becomes a 20-year rage against American political gullibility combined into an unrelenting attack on America, the ignorance and irresponsibility of the electorate, and its betrayal by its political masters. This rage was an obsession that was evident in his self-inflicted torment with regard to the media. ...read more.

Conclusion

What turns into an obsession with Vietnam (and hence Watergate and Nicaragua) is more psychological than political; if it weren't for Vietnam, Owen Meany would still be alive to help and guide him, because he needs to be led. That's why Meany is important for him. Johnny Wheelright was best developed and understood indirectly because of his behavior and spoken beliefs found in the book. Johnny is an observer and his cynical attitude is reaffirmed throughout the book. He is, enthusiastic in his contempt of the government throughout the book. Moreover, his fixation with Vietnam is a result of his reminiscence of Owen Meany. 2 1 Cassie Pharis1 ...read more.

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