Owen Meany Wisdom

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Wisdom in fiction has developed through the years and can take many forms in todays literature. We can see wisdom ranging from the common old wizards or grandmother figures, to something along the lines of children or teens realizing and learning pieces of life early on. In this paper we will focus on one such child, Owen Meany, from the novel A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving. One’s perception of what characters are wisest all depend on how the term is defined and by what formula it is laid out. For the purpose of this paper and analysis the wisdom will be very Ardelt in theory. Wisdom is not simply knowledge but rather knowledge gained through personal experience and growth and then, in turn, applied back into the person’s life in a…show more content…
The story is told through his eyes as he recounts his own coming of age story through his experiences with his childhood best friend, Owen Meany. Owen was tiny described as “...so small that not only did his feet not touch the floor when he sat in his chair--his knees did not extend to the edge of his seat; therefore, his legs stuck out straight, like the legs of a doll.” (pg.4). His size was not the only odd thing about him, he also had a strange voice his entire life. It was described early on as being “wrecked” (pg.3) more than once in the novel. This damage could’ve from his home environment as they worked with gravel or a medical condition.Irving shows his voice by using all capital letters for his dialogue. Thus, from the very beginning Owen is an odd boy. As the novel progress Johnny brings us through milestones of his own life, also including the tragic death of his mother. Through all this Owen is…show more content…
When he and Johnny were about seventeen they were discussing what they wanted to do with their lives. Johnny mentioned wanting to do something where he could read, then offhandedly said that it was silly because the only reason he even liked reading was because of Owen. Owen’s response was to tell him: “"IT DOESN 'T MATTER WHERE YOU LEARNED IT- IT 'S A GIFT. IF YOU CARE ABOUT SOMETHING, YOU HAVE TO PROTECT IT. IF YOU 'RE LUCKY ENOUGH TO FIND A WAY OF LIFE YOU LOVE, YOU HAVE TO FIND THE COURAGE TO LIVE IT.” This insight is taken from Owen’s long held belief that every person has a purpose in life but only they can truly embrace it. One of the key elements of being wise is sharing the wisdom with others. Owen displays this beautifully in this scene with Johnny as he explains to him that this is what he is meant for, what he loves, and he has to go for
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