A Prayer for Owen Meany Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

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This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. Fill in the blank: "If he's got so much ________, he's in the wrong business."

2. Who is the rector of the Episcopal church?

3. How does Johnny respond to Owen's request to meet his cousins?

4. What does Owen leave on Johnny's porch in an attempt at an apology?

5. How do the Meanys respond to the news of Owen's Christmas responsibilities?

Short Essay Questions

1. What revelation does Johnny receive from Reverend Merrill?

2. What is Owen's view of Tabitha's dressmaking dummy?

3. What habit has Hester taken up, and how does it affect her life?

4. What happens with Owen's collegiate schooling after he is kicked out of Gravesend Academy?

5. Briefly explain this quote: "God has taken your mother. My hands were the instrument. God has taken my hands. I am God's instrument."

6. What does Owen think he sees when he enters Tabitha's bedroom?

7. What does the letter that Johnny receives from the draft board say?

8. Why do Owen and Mr. Morrison have a conversation?

9. What significant events happen when Randall White is elected headmaster?

10. What does Owen mean when he tells Dan Needham that his play is lacking a "certain presence"?

Essay Topics

Essay Topic 1

Throughout the novel, John Irving chooses to present the reader with both the childhood version and the adult version of Johnny. Compare/contrast the presented characteristics of both the child and adult versions of Johnny. What events in the novel may have contributed to the man that Johnny Wheelwright grows to become. What evidence do you see to back up this theory? What reasons do you think John Irving has for interrupting the childhood stories of Johnny with the moments of Johnny as an adult. What messages is he trying to send? What is added to the story by seeing Johnny as an adult?

Essay Topic 2

Organized religion plays a major role throughout the novel, creating both conflict and resolution. Choose one of the questions below as the focus for your essay, and support your answers with examples from the text.

1) Compare/contrast the upbringing that both Owen and Johnny had with organized religion. How did their upbringings affect how they acted, and how they viewed the differently situations they encountered throughout the novel?

2) Explore at least three major events in the novel where religious conflict is introduced. What is the significance of that conflict? How is religion used at that those points? Is religion used effectively to get a message across?

3) As an adult, Johnny wavers on whether he believes in religion. What events lead him toward religion, and what events have led him away?

Essay Topic 3

Johnny's stuffed armadillo becomes a symbol for the relationship that Owen and Johnny have with each other. In an essay, compare/contrast what the armadillo means to both Johnny and Owen as individuals. What do they use it for? How the physical changes in the armadillo represent the changes that happen in the boys' relationship. How the armadillo comes into play with the fruition of Owen's destiny? How does the symbol of the armadillo return?

(see the answer keys)

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