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. How is Owen referred to in the text?

2. How many pastors were present at the wedding of Dan and Tabitha?

3. What do the boys witness the Brinker-Smith's doing while they are hiding?

4. Whose ancestor founded the town in which the novel takes place?

5. Fill in the blank: In the first paragraph of the novel, Johnny says, "I am a ____ because of Owen Meany."

Short Essay Questions

1. How does Johnny Wheelwright's mother die?

2. What happens to Hester in her adulthood?

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

4. What is significant about Johnny Wheelwright's family?

5. What goes wrong during the Christmas pageant?

6. What is ironic of Johnny's job as an adult?

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

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

9. What does Johnny think he sees when he is peering out at the audience from backstage during the Christmas pageant?

10. Why does Owen's family switch to the Episcopalian church?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

The entire novel was working toward the idea of Owen's destiny. He had been aware of his purpose from the very beginning. In an essay, explain what Owen Meany's destiny was, and the ways that he worked toward achieving it. How was Johnny Wheelwright a major part of Owen Meany's destiny? Did the ending give you a sense of satisfaction? Why or why not? Did you feel that John Irving was leading you steadily down one path - toward Owen's destiny - or did the ending come out of nowhere? Why?

Essay Topic 2

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?

Essay Topic 3

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?

(see the answer keys)

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