A Prayer for Owen Meany
by John Irving
A Prayer for Owen Meany Friendship Quotes
How we cite our quotes:
Dan and my grandmother were quite touched by Owen's loyalty to me; Hester, naturally, denounced Owen's behavior as "queer"; naturally, I loved him, and I thanked him for his sacrifice—but in my heart I resented his power over me.
"DON'T GIVE IT ANOTHER THOUGHT," he said. "WE'RE PALS, AREN'T WE? WHAT ARE FRIENDS FOR? I'LL NEVER LEAVE YOU." (6.63-64)
Owen really goes above and beyond for his best friend. He even offers to repeat the ninth grade to ensure that they'll always be together. We've got to admit, we don't know if we'd ever go that far….
Hearing about him made me even miss practicing that stupid shot; and so I wrote to him, just casually—since when would a twenty-year-old actually come out and say he missed his best friend? (8.88)
In some ways, it seems that John and Owen navigate their relationship in a different way as twenty-somethings than as kids. They used to be able to share anything; all of a sudden, it seems like social rules start to come into conflict with their closeness.
But there was no doubt that Owen had his heart set on my meeting him in Phoenix, and he sounded even more agitated than usual. I thought he might need the company; we hadn't seen each other since Christmas. After all, I'd never been to Arizona—and, I admit, at the time I was curious to see something of the so-called body escorting. It didn't occur to me that July was not the best season to be in Phoenix—but what did I know?
"Sure, let's do it—it sounds like fun," I told him.
"YOU'RE MY BEST FRIEND," said Owen Meany—his voice breaking a little. I assumed it was the telephone; I thought we had a bad connection. (9.444-446)
Did your heart break while reading this passage? Ours did. Owen knows that he's going to die soon, but he doesn't tell John – he keeps it a secret until the very end. We can see from Owen's perspective how important it is for John to be there with him when it happens – not just because John's a part of his vision, but also because he loves him so much.