Megan Zuleger AP Literature

Megan Zuleger
AP Literature
(First Prompt)
A Prayer for Owen Meany
Sometimes people have to know where they come from before they can truly be themself. In the book A Prayer for Owen Meany, John feels that he needs to know who his father is and he feels lost without knowing that. Throughout the book, John’s character develops as we see him grow up with his childhood friend to when he is a grown adult living in Toronto. John’s mysterious past and origins with lots of unknowns, helps shapes his personality, relationships and how he lives his life, all connecting the story together as one.
John Wheelwright throughout the book strives to find is origin, especially after his mother dies and he is left with his step-dad Dan, but is left clueless to who his father is and the person his mother actually was. When John’s mother, Tabitha dies, Owen Meany claims he is “God’s Instrument” and John begins to accept his mother’s fate, bringing him closer to God, and finding out who he actually is. This helps progress the story because it allows John to grow and have more passion in the relationships he has with his Grandma, Dan, and Owen. When Owen and John decide to adventure into the city to try and find out about John’s biological father and his origins regarding his family they learn of Tabitha’s mysterious actions. The process of this precious predicament put them in a pickle. They learn that Tabby was known as the “The Lady in Red”, and as they learn this it is as though his mother was lying to him and that his childhood experiences are what led to his hardships and connection to Owen. The discovery of who his mom really was and not knowing the truth about everything made John question a lot of other pieces about his life, and it led him change the way he lives and works.
When John found out his true father, it was a sign to him that Owen is still with him even though John’s personality can be quite passive. John was never quite as passionate about what he did as Owen was; they would be seen as one in which opposites attract. After Owen died, John’s personality and faith went downhill. Since John already struggled with his fate, this didn’t help matters. Although he wanted to know who his father was never fantasized those thoughts. On the other hand, Owen went to all measures to get to know those in John’s family. While John was curious he realized that when Merrill told him he was John’s father, he felt it was actually Owen talking. The conversation was not made up to be a huge deal, but it was definitely one experience that John considered as a miracle. Deep down, Owen knew that John wanted to know who his father was, and Owen called himself “God’s Instrument”. In this was he could be seen as a message or angel because of the relevance of a long lost and battled time of knowing who John actually was was finally here. It made John acknowledge that maybe things do happen for a reason and that Owen was with him, even though he brought a lot of pain to John and Hester he was always there in faith.
While John in his later life was not able to find the same sort of inspiration and happiness as Owen in his life, he often finds himself on the daily, thinking about Owen and the life they had as kids that led him to the point in which he is at in his life right now. Owen helped John realize his true self, whether good or bad, whether on Earth or not, because of the faith Owen put in himself and in God. Owen’s impact on John was one that shaped him into who he was by revealing his true self and previously unknown origins into ones he could never forget.