A Prayer for Owen Meany
But one day when my mother was driving Owen and me to the beach—Owen and I were ten—my mother said, "I hope you never stop helping Johnny with his homework, Owen, because when you're both at the academy, the homework's going to be much harder—especially for Johnny."
"BUT I'M NOT GOING TO THE ACADEMY," Owen said.
"Of course you are! My mother said. "You're the best student in New Hampshire—maybe, in the whole country!"
"THE ACADEMY'S NOT FOR SOMEONE LIKE ME," Owen said. "THE PUBLIC SCHOOL IS FOR PEOPLE LIKE ME." (1.113-115)
"THERE'S ALSO DRESS SHIRTS, AND SHOES," Owen said. "IF YOU GO TO SCHOOL WITH RICH PEOPLE, YOU DON'T WANT TO LOOK LIKE THEIR SERVANTS." I now suppose that my mother could hear Mr. Meany's prickly, working-class politics behind this observation. (1.119)
"What does he do, Tabitha?" my grandmother asked. That was a Wheelwright thing to ask. In my grandmother's opinion, what one "did" was related to where one's family "came from"—she always hoped it was from England, and in the seventeenth century. And the short list of things that my grandmother approved of "doing" was no less specific than seventeenth-century England. (2.34)