Owen Meany and Religion

Published: 2021-07-29 16:25:06
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Category: Religion

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Throughout the book, A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving, Owen Meany is presented in a religious context, and the book outlines the story of how his view of life impacts John Wheelwright to become a follower of the christian faith. On a more analytical level of the book, one can assume that John may be presented as a homosexual due to many aspects of his personality and lifestyle. The presence of a strong religious theme in the book concerning the idea of Owen Meany as a christ figure directly contrasts with the underlying assumption of homosexuality in the character John.
Owen Meany isn’t just a preacher of christian values and morals; he is represented in the book as a christ figure and holds many similar characteristics to Jesus Christ himself. This is first seen in the book when Owen accidentally kills John’s mom while playing baseball. While this situation is very hard on the relationship between him and John, Owen interprets it differently by claiming: “GOD HAS TAKEN YOUR MOTHER. MY HANDS WERE THE INSTRUMENT. GOD HAS TAKEN MY HANDS. I AM GOD’S INSTRUMENT (Irving 90). Owen is stating that he believes he was put on this planet to fulfill a certain purpose, and therefore, like Jesus, he is an instrument played by the very hands of God himself. Later on, Owen persuades the reverend that he should play baby Jesus in the Christmas pageant. This instance makes the most direct visual relationship between Owen and Christ through his direct embodiment of baby Jesus. It is then discovered that the circumstances surrounding Owen’s birth are similar to the birth of baby Jesus since his parents believe that he was a virgin birth. The symbolism of his birth relating it to the birth of christ makes a full circle when his death symbolizes the crucifixion of and sacrifice of Jesus Christ. Like Jesus, Owen is aware of the fact that in order to fulfill his duty as god’s instrument he must die. He dies a heroic death in Vietnam, sacrificing his life for ten Vietnamese children. This is similar to Jesus’ death on the cross as he sacrificed his life for the forgiveness of sins. Owen even predicts the day of his death in his journal, saying TODAY’S THE DAY! ?. . . HE THAT BELIEVETH IN ME, THOUGH HE WERE DEAD, YET SHALL HE LIVE; AND WHOSOEVER LIVETH AND BELIEVETH IN ME SHALL NEVER DIE.’ (Irving 617). This prediction can be related back to the very prophecy of Jesus’s death on the cross. Elaborate (similar to Jesus’s prophecy).
From events and descriptions throughout the book, It can be assumed that John is a homosexual. Johnny’s students, and some of their parents, gossip about him; they call him a non-practicing homosexual. John remains a virgin throughout the entire book, and it is implied that this isn’t likely to change. John feels uncomfortable and doesn’t like the experience of going to the strip club with Owen. Elaborate more on the two previous topics John Irving himself admits, I wanted to never state that Johnny loves Owen in that way ” unrequited, because Owen isn’t gay. Yet I think it’s perfectly OK if readers think of Johnny as gay, as not only loving Owen Meany but in love with him. I was trying to be true to the time, when such feelings were often present but unexpressed. Johnny is a virgin all his life because he can’t get over Owen. Cite!! John may not just be a homosexual, but he may be sexually attracted to Owen, even though it isn’t expressed due to the fact that feelings of this nature weren’t expressed during that time period. John being in love with Owen may represent a love for christ, but the presence of sexual attraction is not in line with Christian beliefs. Johnny is a christian because of Owen Meany, but he also may be a homosexual because of Owen Meany. Conclude this paragraph differentlyDue to this contradictory presence of homosexuality in the book and an overarching theme of christianity, a paradox occurs. Since christians do not support homosexual practices it is interesting that John Irving chose to incorporate both elements. He could be using this paradox to express his beliefs that christians can love people despite their personal sexual preferences just as Owen still platonically loves Johnny, or perhaps Irving’s beliefs are due to an underlying presence of homosexuality within himself.
In conclusion, Owen Meany is accredited for making John a practicing christian, but it can also be assumed that Owen Meany influenced him into being a non-practicing homosexual presenting a direct paradox in the beliefs portrayed in the book due to the lack of support for homosexuality in the christian religion. Elaborate more on separate ideas, be more specific, more argument

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