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Owen’s Fated Impact Essay, Research Paper
The existence of fate is an ongoing controversy. John Irving, when writing A
Prayer for Owen Meany, gives the audience many encounters with fate to try to
sway their opinions. However, he does not force it on the audience, merely
educates them in the miracles that could happen and lets them decide for
themselves. Owen not only believed his life was fated, but that he is an
instrument of God who is there to carry out God’s will. His own experiences were
obviously believed by him to be fated and the tragedy of John’s mother was
supposed to occur. He was an indirect, but integral part of the fates of others
as well, including John, Hester and Dan.
Despite Owen’s belief that life is fated, he believes he must actively pursue
that future. Everything he or anyone else does has a reason for happening and
that God intends it. Owen’s visions of his future were seen as not only
assurance, but also guidelines to living his life. Throughout his life, people
who were only partially religious, or at least felt they had to be, surrounded
him. This negativity toward God never dampened Owen’s faith and it became
stronger all the time. His belief in fate led him to Phoenix, initially thought
to be Vietnam, where his dream became a reality. “IT’S NOT THAT I WANT TO GO TO
VIETNAM — IT’S WHERE I HAVE TO GO. IT’S WHERE I’M A HERO. I’VE GOT TO BE
THERE… THE WAY YOU KNOW SOME THINGS–YOUR OBLIGATIONS, YOUR DESTINY OR YOUR
FATE. THE WAY YOU KNOW WHAT GOD WANTS YOU TO DO.” (Irving, 1989, 471) Some would
question if in fact this was his true fate or if he created it himself. Irving
likely put this question in the novel to let his audience know that fate is
questionable and mysterious. Even with its mysteries, it has its believers and
they have all the proof they need. Aside from his fate, Owen believed he is an
instrument of God. He believes this because of Tabby’s fate, but also because he
is fated to save a group of children. This keeps Owen from quitting when so many
obstacles were in his way. His fate to be a hero kept him going and that
demonstrates as faith that plays a crucial role in his life.
Although Owen had always believed in fate, he did not come to believe he was
God’s instrument until Tabby’s death. Owen assumed he disturbed an angel of
death on night, thereby inheriting the job himself. When he hit John’s mother
there was little remorse illustrated because he knew it was out of his hands.
“GOD HAS TAKEN YOUR MOTHER. MY HANDS WERE THE INSTRUMENT. GOD HAS TAKEN MY
HANDS. I AM GOD’S INSTRUMENT.” (Irving, 1989, 87) This quote reveals Owen’s
religious beliefs and the strength they hold on his life. By believing that he
is an instrument of God, he has taken on the responsibility of not only his own
fate, but also those of others. However, this does not allow him to decide what
will happen and when, but merely is chosen to carry out God’s wishes. The fact
that he is a virgin birth, most likely helped Owen reach this conclusion;
otherwise, it seems preposterous to even suggest. His life was not only fated
with an untimely death, but also the privilege to be chosen by God to see that
His wishes are met. This reinforces the fact that John Irving is trying to sell
the idea of fate. When Owen interrupted the angel, her death was just delayed,
not avoided. Her fate was still carried out which implies that she indeed had a
fate waiting for her.
In addition to playing a role in Tabby’s fate, Owen Meany also affected the fate
of others close to him, first and most obvious is John. John says in the very
beginning of the novel “I am a Christian because of Owen Meany”. (Irving, 1989,
1) Religion is a huge topic in everyone’s life and to credit one person with
your beliefs is a great accomplishment on their part. Owen was John’s best
friend up until his death and still even then. Owen’s fate and the fact that he
knew his fate influenced John into believing. Owen served his purpose to John,
to enforce the faith in him. Hester was also greatly affected by Owen’s fate.
She stated “I’ll marry you, I’ll move to Arizona–I’ll go anywhere with you,
Owen…I’ll even get pregnant–if you’d like that, Owen. Do you want babies?
I’ll give you babies!” (Irving, 1989, 531) Hester loved Owen an extreme amount
and was never the same after he left. Her character was not really developed
after his death, but she did become a rock star. Owen had influenced her life
and if not for him, she may have settled down and not had a chance to develop
her singing career. Dan’s life may have been affected the least of the three by
Owen, but still needs to be examined. Owen was responsible for his wife’s death.
The death of a loved one, especially so soon after their marriage, is hard to
handle and possibly he was never able to recover. His fate of living a bachelor
life was Owen’s doing as well. His affect on these characters shows his presence
was influencial and purposeful. He was an aid in God’s plan for them and will
remain in their minds and hearts forever.
Owen’s fate was so strongly believed in his own mind that, he turned his life
upside down to bring that dream into reality; he also affected the lives of
others when he fought for this fate. Irving uses Owen’s experiences to introduce
the idea of fate and cause questions in the minds of believers and non-believers
alike. The audience is left to decide for themselves whether or not Owen really
was an instrument of God because that question is never really answered in the
novel. He shows how one boy’s faith in his predetermined future can affect the
lives of so many. Owen Meany may not have been an instrument of God, but by
giving faith to so many people, he may as well have been.
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- ... A PRAYER FOR OWEN MEANY, the protagonist, Owen Meany, developed ... unusual religious significance. Owen experienced visions of future ... his, where as Owen did not. Owen’s revelation came through ... advice and encouragement. Owen Meany demonstrated many ...
- ... seaside. People travel to Oman because of it beautiful sentry ... dive, or enjoy Oman?s interesting cultures. Oman is in Asia and ... droughts. The population of Oman is about 1.5 million and ... university Education is free for Oman citizens. Omans transportation is ...
- ... of New Hampshire and Owen follows John. Owen follows him for ... are saved thanks to Owen s quick reaction. Owen always put the priority ... of New Hampshire and Owen follows John. Owen follows him for ... are saved thanks to Owen s quick reaction. Owen always put the ...
- ... : P. 6. This article criticizes Owen?s non-combatant attitude of the ... had on Owen?s poetry. Braithwaite, Stanley. ?Wilfred Owen, the Poet ... . White, Gertrude M. Wilfred Owen. New York: Twayne Publishers, ... 1969. White examines Owen and his poetry. She ...