A Prayer for Owen Meany, by John Irving Essay

938 Words 4 Pages
How many people honestly know their true identity? In today’s society, some try so hard to fit in, they lose themselves in the mixture. However, those who stay true to themselves sometimes lose society in the mix. In the novel, A Prayer for Owen Meany, written by John Irving, the characters all show some sort of notable identity. Whether the character’s characteristics are known or hidden, they all assume uniqueness that significantly affect major characters in the novel such as Johnny and Owen. A theme clearly portrayed throughout this novel is having a sense of identity, which is shown through the characters Harriet, Dick and Mr. Merrill. If one were to do an analysis on the character Harriet Wheelwright, they would see that her …show more content…
Without Harriet, Owen would not be able to attend the Academy, where he would not be able to obtain his ‘destiny.’ As one can see, Harriet’s identity starts out as a harsh, rude character that would not even give someone directions. However, as her character progresses, she turns into an agreeable, more pleasant woman. Just as Harriet’s character greatly affects major characters, such as Owen and Johnny, Dick Jarvits does the same. Dick Jarvits, while a minor character, affects the plot line and characters in enormous ways. Dick can be described as a highly temperamental and disturbed teenager. According to recent studies, teenagers are more likely to commit crimes because of broken homes, a child’s family position, and family size. When Irving introduces the Jarvits family, one can immediately conclude that something is wrong about them. In all, the Jarvits family consists of an abusive drunk father, a crazy teenager (Dick) who hoards weapons as he cannot wait to go to Vietnam, a pregnant half-sister (which evidence suggests that her being pregnant may have been a family affair), a dead brother, and a mother who does not care about her children. This is the perfect breeding ground for Dick becoming a crazed Vietnam-hating teenager. When Owen and Johnny enter Dick’s room, they see that he has weapons all over the place along with his brother’s memorabilia from the war. As Johnny describes:
Dick showed us, proudly, all the souvenirs that Hubcap [a nickname given

Related Documents