A Prayer for Owen Meany Test | Final Test - Hard

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This test consists of 5 short answer questions and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. What does Johnny believe makes Owen attractive to girls?

2. What color is Owen's father's truck?

3. What does Owen call the nuns?

4. What does Owen say about the nuns?

5. What behavior of Hester's becomes a worry for her cousin, Johnny.

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

There are many characters who feel somehow responsible for the death of Tabitha Wheelwright. In an essay, briefly explain the reasons behind both Owen and Reverend Merrill's belief of their responsibility. What prompted each of them to believe in his responsibility? How has this affected his life?

Next, argue why the responsibility for her death should lie somewhere else. This argument should clearly and succinctly prove why neither Reverend Merrill or Owen is responsible. Use support from the text to prove your argument.

Essay Topic 2

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.

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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