A Prayer for Owen Meany
by John Irving
A Prayer for Owen Meany Theme of Fate and Free Will
Is Owen's death destiny, or did he pave his own path? This is a question that we're still puzzling over. Owen seems to believe pretty strongly from the time he's a young boy that God has plans for him and that it's not his business to mess with them. On the other hand, other characters like John and Hester seem to be more of the mind that things happen because we will them to happen. In A Prayer for Owen Meany, Owen's belief in fate and God's plans leads him to the army and to his ultimate death. Whether or not you think Owen's death is a product of fate or of choice is up to you. Either way, it's an interesting matter of debate.
Questions About Fate and Free Will
- How does Owen seem to change after he thinks he has a vision of the date of his death?
- Do you think Owen was fated to die on the day that he died, or do you think he allowed himself to create the right circumstances for it to happen?
- Do you think Tabby's death was an accident, or do you think it was fate? Why?
- In your opinion, was Owen's decision to join the army a matter of fate or a matter of free will?
Chew on This
The events leading up to Owen Meany's death show us that he was destined to die on the day that he died.
The events leading up to Owen Meany's death show us that there were many choices he could have made that could have helped him avoid his death.