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A Prayer for Owen Meany Essay | Critical Essay #3

This Study Guide consists of approximately 100 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of A Prayer for Owen Meany.
This section contains 4,161 words
(approx. 14 pages at 300 words per page)
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Critical Essay #3

In the following essay excerpt, Reilly examines the overriding theme in Owen Meany—religious faith and miracles—and how it informs every aspect of Irving's novel.

Irving's A Prayer for Owen Meany contains no bears, no Vienna, no World War II, and no rapes. However, it does contain a boy's school, Gravesend Academy; a sports metaphor, slam-dunking basketballs; a war, the Vietnam War; dual settings in the United States and Canada; and violence. The major difference, however, between this novel and Irving's preceding ones is that it is ultimately about religious faith and miracles, a theme absent in the other novels. In commenting about Owen Meany, Irving emphasizes, "I've always asked myself what would be the magnitude of the miracle that could convince me of religious faith." This idea is the novel's core and controls the settings, characters, themes, and literary techniques.

Like Cider House, the setting is...

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This section contains 4,161 words
(approx. 14 pages at 300 words per page)
Purchase our A Prayer for Owen Meany Study Guide
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A Prayer for Owen Meany from BookRags and Gale's For Students Series. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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