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. How is Johnny's mother described?

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

4. What is heard in the background of Ms. Wheelwright's funeral?

5. Whose religious doubts does Johnny appreciate?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

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

5. How does Johnny Wheelwright's mother die?

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

7. Who are the Brinker-Smiths?

8. What happens when Owen meets Johnny's cousins?

9. How does the Meany family make a living?

10. How does Owen apologize to Johnny?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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 2

Even though Hester, Owen, and Johnny have a very tight friendship, there are moments when they all begin to doubt each other. In an essay, explain why the boys (either together or individually) doubted some of the decisions that Hester was making. Why did Johnny and Hester (either together or as individuals) doubt some of the decisions that Owen was making? What is the importance of those doubts in the novel? How had their friendships managed to overcome the doubt?

Essay Topic 3

Hester Eastman plays the role of an important romantic interest for both Johnny and Owen. In an essay, compare/contrast young Hester Eastman with the adolescent Hester Eastman. What characteristics did the boys find attractive about her at both ages? How would you describe the relationships that Johnny and Owen had with Hester? How were they the same? How were they different? Which relationship seemed to make more sense? Even though there were deeply unhealthy behaviors in both, which relationship could you have seen lasting longer? Why?

(see the answer keys)

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