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. Why is it impossible for any pitcher to strike Owen out playing baseball?

2. What job did Owen believe was passed on to him from a higher being?

3. What part of Johnny's stuffed animal did Owen remove?

4. Fill in the blank: Down by the riverside, Owen shouts, "He can hide from you, but he can't hide from _____ ."

5. Who does Johnny wish he knew the truth about?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. How does Owen typically play baseball?

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

4. What changes does Owen make to the Christmas pageant once he becomes the director?

5. What does Owen gift to Tabitha and Dan as a wedding gift?

6. Explain the situation that Johnny will later describe as his sexual awakening.

7. How does Owen apologize to Johnny?

8. Why does Owen react so strongly to Johnny's opinion of his mother's death?

9. What does Johnny see when he travels to Tabitha's grave for the first time?

10. How do the other Sunday school students treat Owen?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Jealousy is another theme that becomes introduced into Johnny and Owen's relationship as they progress into adolescence. In an essay, explain two of the major events that prompt jealousy between the two boys and the ways that the jealously is overcome. What was it that the boys discussed/decided, if anything, to smooth out their relationship? Had Owen lived into adulthood, do you imagine that jealously would have continued to live in their relationship? What adult events might have transpired that one boy, or the other, could have been jealous of?

Essay Topic 2

While exploring the dorm rooms at Gravesend, the boys are initiated into the worlds of puberty and sexuality. Compare and contrast the boys' expectations of puberty with what they actually experience. Why might John Irving have included sexuality as a major theme within his novel?

Essay Topic 3

The novel takes places in a very important moment of American history. The Vietnam War becomes both a machine to progress the story as well as a catalyst for the behaviors of many characters. Why might John Irving have decided to set the novel in this time period? Was the war used as a machine to progress the story, or was there a deeper symbolic meaning to the time setting? Support your theory with examples from the text.

(see the answer keys)

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