Self-Discovery In A Prayer For Owen Meany

1163 Words5 Pages
In the novel A Prayer for Owen Meany, John Irving’s characters have many quests and journeys. These are both interpersonal and journeys of self-discovery. Through John’s search for faith, for his identity and America’s collective search for honesty and truth, Irving solidifies Thomas Hardy’s message that “Nothing bears out in practice what it promises incipiently.” While one character grows to fulfill his God given destiny, others float along and see where the road takes them. Owen Meany has a seemingly direct and purposeful path in life, while John struggles with finding identity and faith. John firmly believes that there is a God, but that does not mean he has faith figured out. Throughout the story he is never overtly pious, and at…show more content…
Specifically, he teaches English to High School girls. He goes on to college, and then graduate school, all to make it possible for him to teach English. As he grows and learns as an adult, he actually develops a great appreciation for Tess of the D’Urbervilles, and he deeply wants his students to gain the same understanding of it that he has. He goes full circle in that at his age, rereading the first phase of Tess would be the last thing he would want to do, yet that is exactly what he assigns to his Grade 12 English Class. Empty promises from president after president lead Americans to lose faith in politics. In A Prayer for Owen Meany, Americas search for truth and honesty in politics plays out during both the Kennedy and Reagan administrations. Owen’s search for honesty in politics prompts him to reform his own attitude. Upon hearing of JFK’s election, he writes in his journal,
NO MORE SARCASM MASTER…NO MORE CYNICAL, NEGATIVE, SMART-ASS, ADOLESCENT BULLSHIT! THERE IS A WAY TO BE OF SERVICE TO ONE’S COUNTRY WITHOUT BEING A FOOL; THERE IS A WAY TO BE OF USE WITHOUT BEING USED...” He thought that Kennedy was religious and—incredibly—he didn’t mind that Kennedy was a Catholic. “I BELIEVE HE’S A KIND OF SAVIOR” (Irving

More about Self-Discovery In A Prayer For Owen Meany

Open Document