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. When the Brinker-Smiths enter the room that Owen and Johnny are investigating, where does Johnny hide?

2. How does Owen respond to the news that his parents are aware of his Christmas responsibilities?

3. Which character is killed in the Vietnam war?

4. Whose religious doubts does Johnny appreciate?

5. What do Johnny's cousins do with the hopes of drawing blood?

Short Essay Questions

1. What happens when Johnny and Owen are investigating empty dorm rooms at Gravesend over the Christmas holiday?

2. Who are the Brinker-Smiths?

3. How do the Meanys find out about Owen's Christmas responsibilities, and what is their response?

4. What does Owen predict when he and Johnny are down by the Squamscott River?

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

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

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

8. What was the conflict that Dan and Tabitha encountered when they were planning their wedding ceremony?

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Throughout the novel, both Owen and Johnny battle with the ideas of personal histories and family histories defining them. Compare/contrast the family histories that both boys know of themselves when they are 11. Explain the ways that both boys knowledge of themselves has changed by the end of the novel. Which boy was most affected by the knowledge - or lack thereof - of both his personal and family history? What evidence from the text supports this claim?

Essay Topic 2

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 3

Overall, there are two major mindsets in the novel of how you progress through life: with caution, or with passion. In an essay, discuss at least five characters who progress through life with caution, and five characters who progress with passion. For each character, give a short explanation as to why they have landed on each list. Then, choose one character from either side of the list and argue why they should have lived their life the opposite way. What does John Irving seem to be saying is the better way to live your life? Which side of the list had happier live, better outcomes?

(see the answer keys)

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