A Prayer For Owen Meany

Essay by EssaySwap ContributorHigh School, 12th grade February 2008

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A symbol is an object or person that stands for or represents something else. John Irving successfully uses Owen Meany as a symbol in the novel A Prayer For Owen Meany. The character of Owen Meany is used to symbolism many things, such as the Christ figure,faith and coincidence, and God's instrument.

Owen Meany was a religious boy. He is shown to be a sort of symbol of Jesus Christ. His parents believed that he was a virgin birth, the same way that Christ was born. Ironically Owen won the role of the baby Jesus in the Espiscopalian Christmas pageant. When there was trouble finding children to play the role, Owen volunteered. Because of his size he was perfect for this role. Owen Meany is similar to Jesus Christ because of his purpose on earth was to save lives and he never did do anything that was selfish or greedy.

Jesus sacrificed himself to save the people. Owen sacrificed himself, knowing he was going to die, for the Veitnamese children. This shows the similarity, or symbolism, in both the life of Owen and the life of Jesus Christ.

Faith and coincidence are very important subjects in the novel A Prayer For Owen Meany. Owen Meany believed that 'coincidence' was a stupid refuge set up by stupid people who were unable to accept the fact that their lives were shaped by a scary design. Owen's parents believed that he was that of a virgin birth, and believed it so strongly that they told Owen when he was very young, shaping the course of his entire life. Owen goes through his short life thinking that he is sent to earth by God, and that he is destined to die heroically. When Owen has the dreams, or visions, he...