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

2. Who is Dan Needham?

3. Whose religious doubts does Johnny appreciate?

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

5. How does Owen typically respond when Johnny comes home from visiting his cousins?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. Who are the Brinker-Smiths?

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

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

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 is significant about Johnny Wheelwright's family?

7. Describe Johnny's cousins.

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

9. How does Owen typically play baseball?

10. How is Owen described physically?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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 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

Both Owen and Reverend Merrill played a large part in cementing the religious faith of Johnny who vacillated on religion through most of the novel. In an essay, compare/contrast the religious faiths of Owen and Reverend Merrill. Consider how much trickery comes into play in regards to the faith of characters in the novel. What message do you think John Irving was attempting to state in the novel? How do both Owen and Reverend Merrill's views on faith affected Johnny's views? Which had a larger impact on his faith? What changes did each character prompt in his beliefs?

(see the answer keys)

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